Nest is focused on real customers, not geeks, says Lionel Paillet (video)

19 Nov 2015

Lionel Paillet, general manager, Nest Europe. Photo: Connor McKenna

In its quest to cater for what it calls the ‘thoughtful home’, Alphabet-owned Nest is spearheading more ways to get developers to create apps and ways to interact with other home brands, its European general manager Lionel Paillet told

Earlier this week, Nest revealed the third generation of its popular learning thermostat, which now has a 40pc larger high-resolution screen and which comes with new ways of sharing contextualised information and detecting movement.

The company created by the iPod creator Tony Fadell was acquired by Google (now Alphabet) for $3.2bn last year.

“It’s been an interesting year,” said Paillet. “First we moved from one product a year ago when we entered the Irish market and now we have three products and we have started to take our vision of the ‘thoughtful home’ a bit broader.”

Paillet was referring to the addition of the Nest Protect device for detecting smoke and carbon monoxide and the Nest Cam, which evolved out of Nest’s acquisition of Dropcam last year.

The key to the ‘thoughful home’, he said, is interaction with other devices, mainly through software and wireless standards.

“We’ve started to work with electronics companies like Philips, car manufacturers, white goods makers and in a year we’ve grown our app developer base to 11,000 developers, big and small.”

Paillet said that Nest’s entry into the Irish market over a year ago has been a bit of a “rocket ship” thanks to an alliance with Electric Ireland.

“Enabling people to save between 7pc and 27pc on their heating bill is still a pretty good deal.”

Internet of things will give way to just things

“What we see with this is connected objects will get smarter and smarter if we enable them to get smarter.”

He said the key is to create technologies that consumers can add to the home without requiring engineers all the time.

He said that Nest’s wireless protocol Thread now has 200 industry partners.

“We are focused on the ‘thoughtful home’ and that’s the plan for us going ahead.

“We are going after the home and making technology work for real customers, not for geeks.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years