Last year, after Google sold off Motorola to Lenovo – and kept the patents and ATAP – the company bought Nest for $3.2 billion. The company was founded by Tony Fadell who actually led the design on the original iPod at Apple all those years ago. Many thought that Google was bringing in Nest to develop hardware for them, much like everyone thought Motorola would be doing. But Nest has stayed pretty much separate from Google.
This week, Nest announced new versions of their Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect, while also debuting the Nest Cam. Which is thanks to Google’s acquisition of Dropcam last year as well. The Nest Cam is up for pre-order right now for $199 at Best Buy, Amazon and a few other places. According to the Business Insider’s reasearch team, about 132 million home security devices will be shipped this year, and that number is due to rise to over 700 million in 2019, which is less than 5 years away. Now if Nest captures just 3% of that space, that would be $4 million. So Google was buying Nest to make some money.
But there’s a bit more to that, and that lays in Brillo. Announced at Google I/O, Brillo is Google’s platform for smart and connected devices. While they didn’t say much about it at their developers conference, it’s quite clear that Google is using Nest to start out that platform and to help bring in more companies and developers to develop Internet of Things products on the platform. Which it’s a great idea to have all these connected products on one platform, that way they can all talk to your smartphone, and you won’t need separate apps. Currently if you have Philips Hue lights and Belkin’s kitchen appliances, like their slow cooker, you have two separate apps to control those two. With Brillo, you should be able to use just one. Talk about convenient.
It seems like Google has some big plans with Nest, even though they plan to keep the company separate. Which is probably a good idea, considering they mine all of the data through their other products to help better target ads. Last thing we want is an ad on our thermostat or live feed from our Nest Cam, right?