CEO Tony Fadell Hates When Nest Is Called An ‘Internet-Of-Things’ Company

We here in the tech press have gotten used to categorizing new, interesting products that are getting smart and connected under the umbrella term “Internet of Things.” But today at CODE Conference in Southern California, Nest CEO Tony Fadell said he hates the term, and sought to clarify why Nest shouldn’t be described that way.

“The ‘Internet of Things’ is a term for this audience, not for consumers,” Fadell said. Instead the company is focused on building products for the home that will work better than consumers are used to. “We’re not an ‘Internet of Things’ company… We make a thermostat, and we make a smoke alarm.”

Nest has seen some major ups and downs as of late: The company was acquired by Google earlier this year in a deal worth $3.2 billion in cash. While Nest only had a couple of products on the market at the time of the deal, it quickly became apparent that Google was buying a lot more than just thermostats and smoke alarm products.

Fadell said that the company is focused specifically on products in the home, things that are not mobile or wearable. And he promised that new things are in the pipeline.

Not everything has been working perfect, however. Recently Nest took one of its core safety products off the market due to a bug in one of its features.

After selling more than 400,000 Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, Nest halted sale and disabled its controversial “wave to dismiss” feature, which turns an alarm off when it detects someone in the room waving at it.

But Fadell said consumers got confused when, six weeks after it notified customers, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a statement saying the product was being recalled. “We did all the right stuff in the first few days and then they decided six weeks later [to issue the statement],” he said.

More recently, there have been reports that Nest is interested in purchasing video security company Dropcam. While Fadell wouldn’t comment on that specific report, he said the company was talking to different large security companies about integrating its products with theirs.