Great tech innovators: Tony Fadell

From Apple to appliances, Tony Fadell is bringing the love to everyday things

  • Age: 46
  • Company: Nest Labs
  • Best known for: Being the 'father of the iPod', creating IoT poster child Nest
  • Quote: "The Internet of Things? I hate that phrase. It is horrible."

When TechRadar interviewed Tony Fadell about Nest in 2013, before his company was bought by Google, he gave us an interesting insight into why he creates the products he does. He wants to reinvent the unloved things in the home and giving them a new lease of life.

The fruits of this can be seen in his early career. In 1995, after a stint as a diagnostics engineer, he joined Philips as the CTO of the company's mobile computing group and brought about strengthening Philips' mobile products - an area that was much unloved at the time. This was followed by the creation of his first company, Fuse, where he began developing a mobile music player.

After unsuccessfully getting a product to launch, he was snapped up by Apple where his idea formed the backbone of the iPod - a device that reinvented another everyday item, the portable music player, and subsequently changed the face of the technology industry.

Given the success of the product he soon found himself Senior Vice President of Apple's iPod division, a role he held until 2008.

Leaving Apple for many would be seen as the end of a career, for Fadell it was just the beginning. Within two years he had set up Nest Labs and created a learning thermostat and smart smoke alarm. Yet again, everyday items reinvented and given a new lease of life.

Fadell is currently heading up the new development of Google Glass which is another every... you get the idea.

  • In partnership with Microsoft, powered by the HP Spectre x360



Content Team Lead

Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.