Google Purchases Nest Labs For 3.2 Billion Dollars

By Steve West 2014-01-13 20:33:02
In a move that on close inspection seems obvious, Google has purchased Nest Labs. The search engine giant turned innovation company bought the maker of the Nest Learning Thermostat for $3.2 billion. Nest Labs created the Learning Thermostat, which can be accessed via an iPhone or Android app to monitor your home's temperature from anywhere, and will automatically adjust the temperature of your home as it learns when you're around most often. While itís all a matter of corporate politics to get things settled, one thing is for certain with the acquisition: this shit might get creepy. Of course, Nest has a fairly great privacy policy that its users rely on to not be spied upon. I mean, that Thermostat looks like it could potentially be analyzing your every move.

Google is pretty famous at this point for acquiring vast amounts of data on its users, as well as sharing that data. Co-founder of Nest, Matt Rogers, said in a Q&A on the companyís blog, "Our privacy policy clearly limits the use of customer information to providing and improving Nest's products and services.Ē He goes on to claim that will not change. Although I once worked for a small medical advertising and medical education firm that ďmergedĒ with a larger firm. We were told that weíd remain independent, and would act as the NYC office. Within a year we were all integrated and changed up. Thatís kind of how things go with corporate mergers, although thereís no guarantee that Googleís privacy policy will ever trump Nestís. Just to be safe, donít say things you want to keep secret around your Nest Learning Thermostat. Caution is only crazy when youíre wrong.

Google Ventures has already invested tens of millions of dollars in Nest Labs, so the purchase comes as little surprise. Google has long since moved past its ďDonít Be EvilĒ motto, but that phrase permeated most of our minds in the early days so much that we trusted this corporation. Itís clear at this point that Google is a company, and as such is interested in the bottom line. The great thing, even if they are ďevilĒ on occasion, is that they are also innovators. Or as is the case with this purchase, theyíre supporters of innovation.

Donít expect to find out any time soon how Nestís products will integrate with Googleís, and vice versa. Firstly, the deal still has to go through the approval process and wonít be finalized for a few months. The entire Nest company is being transferred to Google; all employees, IPís, patents, et al is a part of the deal. Co-founders Matt Rogers and Tony Fadell will continue to run Nest, which is to continue as its own entity. Although Nest will incorporate Google labeling and badges into its products, unlike Motorola, which you have to be reminded now and then is a Google company.

Theoretically this move should provide Nest with the ability to leap forward with plans to make a conscious home. The Smart smoke detector and Learning Thermostat are innovative products, but the market integration isnít anywhere near where such visionaries as Rogers and Fadell would probably like. For those who worry about platform support, Nest will continue to support both iOS and Android. Currently Nest is sold at Apple retail stores, no word on any changes have come out in that regard.
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