Google has been slowly revealing new products over the past couple of months, most recently the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G phones. But things aren’t ending there because there’s another Google gizmo on the way.
What product you ask? It’s a cheaper version of the Nest thermostat, and it sounds like it’s going to launch with the Pixel 4’s controversial gesture controls.
This news comes from Bloomberg (opens in new tab), which is reporting Google will start selling the new thermostat in the very near future -- and for a mere $129. For reference, a Nest Learning Thermostat costs $249/£219, while the Thermostat E is $169/£199.
But Google isn’t just undercutting its own prices with the new model, because Bloomberg’s report reiterates old rumours that the new Nest will come with gesture controls. They are set to be powered by Google’s Project Soli chip, the same chip responsible for the controversial gesture control system in last year’s Pixel 4.
For those that don’t remember, Project Soli was a miniaturised radar chip at the top of the Pixel 4’s screen next to the front camera
But gestures are not set to come as an extra gimmick, and will actually replace some of the touchscreen controls found in existing Nest thermostats. So you’ll be adjusting the temperature and navigating menus by waving your hands around, rather than fiddling with the thermostat itself. That’ll be pretty handy in a post-COVID world.
Bloomberg goes on to detail how this new thermostat is part of Google’s strategy to reach new customers with cheaper hardware. A strategy that’s also been employed with the Pixel 5, given its price and hardware specifications. It would definitely be a welcome move, considering the price of a Nest Learning Thermostat, especially if Google manages to include other exciting features.
It probably doesn’t hurt for Google to try and undercut the likes of Tado and Hive either.