January 17, 2014
Search giant Google has left the online world in frenzy with its acquisition of NEST labs, which manufactures the Nest Learning Thermostat and the smart smoke detector, Protect; both of which have redefined what thermostats are capable of. The company, which was founded by two former Apple executives, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, is popular for its intuitive products, which learn user behaviors and are capable of adjusting the temperature autonomously. The sale, which is expected to close within a few months, has been slated at $3.2 billion in cash.
Speculations are rife about how exactly Google intends to use NEST, as it seems that this move, when combined with Google’s language recognition abilities, could be Google’s way to enter the homes of the general public. This move is being seen as a “rocket ship” to the future, one that has the potential of transporting us into a future that we could only imagine so far. This could be a major step into realizing the vision of “conscious homes”, which could completely change the face of the world.
This is not the first time that Google has attempted to gain access to similar systems, the most recent being its own energy monitoring service. Sources reveal that Apple also showed interest in purchasing NEST, as a part of its wearable technology to counter Google Glass. However, Fadell was apparently only interested in a partnership with Google, or in remaining independent. Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, and now NEST, goes to show the belief that the company has in Apple’s vision.
Post acquisition Representatives for NEST maintain that privacy and user security has always been a prime consideration for NEST, and that is not expected to change. However, skeptics have a different view, as it is believed that with this move, Google, which has a history of compromising customer privacy for product sales, will get a closer view than ever into the activities going on behind closed doors of its users. This is a critical consideration for customers who use NEST’s products, since the company collects a wide range of information about their living habits. It remains to be seen if these users will continue to trust the company after its partnership with Google.