Nest, which makes internet-connected thermostats and smoke detectors, will join the new team to create an internet of things platform. The group will report to Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google's senior VP of Android, whose responsibilities recently expanded into overseeing "living room" products.
The move speaks to continued efforts to streamline smaller--and less lucrative--units of Alphabet. With Nest staffers on Google's payroll, the company's financial situation is likely to improve. It also signals that Google is ramping up efforts to create a strong competitor to the Amazon Echo smart speaker; its own Google Home device is expected to launch this year. Nest brings a number of strategic partnerships to the table--with companies including Belkin, Phillips, and August, a smart lock manufacturer--that Google Home stands to benefit from.
It's worth noting that Nest has reportedly struggled to meet revenue targets since being acquired by the tech giant for $3.2 billion in 2014, especially after the creation of the Alphabet umbrella made Nest a body distinct from Google.
Earlier this summer, the company saw its co-founder and CEO, Tony Fadell, step down amid rumors of tension with Alphabet. Nest reportedly brought in around $340 million in revenue last year, short of previous goals.