Google Failed at Smartphones. Can It Really Build Smart Homes and Robots?

Motorola's Moto X smartphones assembled at the Flextronics factory in Fort Worth, Texas. Photograph by Mike Fuentes/Bloomberg

On the face of it, operating an existing cell phone company should be easier than creating and maintaining computerized eyeglasses, robots, and Internet-connected home appliances. Now that Google has admitted failure in the phone business by selling Motorola to Lenovo for about $3 billion, how credible are its chances to pull off its much more ambitious aspirations in hardware?

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