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Nest said to be working on home security and a low-cost thermostat

The company is recovering from a lull in its home automation lineup.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 8, 2017
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Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Notice how Nest hasn't had any truly new products lately? If you believe insider accounts, it's no coincidence -- management troubles, and the struggle to develop a home security system, left it with little to show. However, it now looks like it's back on track... and then some. A Bloomberg source claims that Nest has multiple new products in the works, headlined by a reborn security system. The "end-to-end" design would include a central hub with a keypad, alarm sensors and a quick control fob. That doesn't sound too unusual, but it'd pair with a mobile app that lets you greenlight access for specific people, such as a friend checking in on your pets. The security setup is reportedly due to ship this year.

The other hardware would be more iterative, but you might not necessarily mind. The star would be a sub-$200 take on the Learning Thermostat that would use lower-end materials (no metal ring here) and other cost-cutting measures. It could launch by 2018, the tipster says. There's also a second-generation Nest Cam, tentatively targeted for a fall release, that may learn to identify specific people. And there's even talk of Nest getting into the smart doorbell game. Much like Ring and similar products, you'd use a built-in camera in the doorbell to talk with would-be visitors even when you're far from home. The company is only "exploring" development, Bloomberg says, but the doorbell could be ready as soon as 2018.

The products don't sound revolutionary at first blush, but that may not necessarily be the point. Now that Nest is operating under the Alphabet banner, it's under greater pressure to improve its bottom line -- and that means releasing new products. An expanded lineup would also help Nest create a full ecosystem of home automation hardware, rather than focusing on just three areas like it has for the past few years.

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