Google Spent $3.2 Billion to Get into Our Homes With Nest, but Why?

Nest Thermostat

 

Paying attention to Google as a business is truly fascinating, the company has it’s hands in almost all technology. The internet to start with, then you have social networking, advertising, videos, smartphones, navigation systems, computers, tablets, they are getting into cars, they have televisions, the list goes on and on. Google always seem to make it’s way into anything tech, and for the most part, they impress. What’s next for the company? well that list can go on for a few pages, but the newest has to do with your house.

If you were paying attention to our CES coverage, you know about how tech is moving in to your house and in every room no less. Your bathroom has smart toothbrushes available, bedroom smart lights and more, smart televisions, and shoes, smart locks, and thermostats, smart slow cookers and stoves. With everything getting smarter in the house, Google needs an in, and they may have found it with the acquisition in progress of a company called Nest, which we reported on earlier, but why did they make this deal?

Nest is a company that was founded in 2010, by CEO Tony Fadell. Fadell currently employs around 300 people, including some ex-Apple employees. Nest specializes in, you guessed it, in-home tech in the form of thermostats and smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Surely, you have guessed that they also make those products WiFi capable, so that they could be controlled from anywhere by a smart phone or tablet. They also have features that detect patterns in the way the products are used to help the user keep things on track with little effort. Soon enough, Google will own Nest as well.

The deal was announced the Monday after CES, which may have been done on purpose. Now that everyone is looking more to the “smarthome” thanks to all of the products announced at CES, kind of like easing us into the idea. However, even with our attention on the possibilities of Google in our homes, they couldn’t distract us from the determination they have with the deal. The answer to the question about just how determined, comes in the form of a dollar amount, a $3.2 billion dollar amount to be exact.

The price is one of the biggest dollar amounts Google has given since YouTube back in 2006, which was $1.6 billion. Though, $3.2 billion may not be all they have given to Nest, since Google was interested in the company back in 2011 and 2012, when they lead funding efforts for Nest.

Now that we are getting comfortable with idea of a connected house, Google needs to find a way in, and possibly use that to their advantage. Since most of Google’s money comes from advertising, 97% of their money to be exact, imagine what they could do if they knew more about us in the home. Though, with everything Google, privacy issues become a big part of public perception. If Google knew more about our trends in the home, they would be able to specialize ads to us, and Nest CEO Fadell thought about that already. Taking to the company’s blog to say, “Our privacy policy clearly limits the use of customer information to providing and improving Nest’s products and services. We’ve always taken privacy very seriously and this will not change.” So we have his word to go on, so there’s that at least.

Google has already made their way into our homes with products like smart televisions, and Chrome Cast. This acquisition will just add to their presence, where they may expand into more. Once they have fully made themselves comfortable in our homes, is most likely when we will see changes to privacy policies, but by then, will we really care anymore?

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