Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

From iPods to Thermostats: Nest CEO and Founder Tony Fadell Speaks! (Video)

When Tony Fadell left Apple for good in March of last year, the man who has been dubbed the “father of the iPod” said in an interview that his “primary focus will be helping the environment by working with consumer green-tech companies.”

Fadell has kind of kept that promise with the recent launch of Nest, his new start-up that is focused on super-smart, well, thermostats.

Before you drift off to dreamland at the thought of being even slightly interested in the mundane household device that you fight over with your family (along with the remote), Nest is indeed in keeping with the idea of making the home more digitally aware.

With a wheel user interface, a Wi-Fi connection, sensors aplenty and an ability to learn your behavorial patterns, Nest is a temperature-taking version of an iPod.

And it’s also pretty, clad in simple brushed stainless steel, and pricey too. And, also like most Apple products, it is selling like hotcakes.

Here’s the always affable Fadell talking about why he moved in this unusual direction, although he gives up little info about Nest’s funding:

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik