Five years ago, Google in down and acquired Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in what amounted to an all-cash offer. It seems Google hasn't quite figured out how best to leverage its acquisition, which has been shuffled around the organization a couple of times, and is now considering a rebrand of its Nest line of products.
It's been an interesting road for Nest since Google took over in 2014. In 2015, Nest operated as its own subsidiary under the corporate Alphabet umbrella. Then earlier this year, Google announced that Nest was "coming home" by rejoining its hardware division. The hope was that by meshing Nest with Google's own hardware team, it would be able to bring more innovative products to the market and have a better shot at competing with the likes of Amazon and others.
"To build on this momentum, we're excited to bring the Nest and Google Hardware teams together. The goal is to supercharge Nest’s mission: to create a more thoughtful home, one that takes care of the people inside it and the world around it," Google Hardware SVP Rick Osterloh and Nest CEO Marwan Fawaz said in a joint statement at the time.
Amazon in particular has been a major force in the smart home space with its line of Echo products, though it's a far more crowded field today than it was five years ago. It's not entirely clear if Google will go forward with rebranding Nest, as a source told 9To5Google that discussions are still early.
In lieu of any other details, we can only speculate what Google might be thinking, or planning. One avenue would be to rebrand its Nest products under its Pixel brand. That's probably a long shot, though not entirely out of the question—Google has been building mindshare for its Pixel brand, which encompasses phones, tablets, and laptops.
More likely in our opinion, however, is a brand new name, perhaps coinciding with a new product launch. The Pixel brand isn't universal among Google's hardware, after all, with products like Google Home, Chromecast, and DayDream among its offerings.