Google buys Nest in multi-billion dollar deal

By Danielle Middleton topicIcon Internet News

Google finds itself a Nest

A smart smoke detector and thermostat company has been bought out by Google for $3.2bn (£195.2m), in a surprise move into the 'Internet of Things' industry.

Nest's CEO Tony Fadell, a former Apple employee, has designed the devices to create a more comfortable and energy saving home environment. At present they can: be remotely controlled from your smart device, connected to Wi-Fi in order to compare your indoor temperature to the outside, give verbal and light cues when the batteries are low or when carbon monoxide levels are too high, and adjust itself according to both your personal preferences and whether you are at home.

From Apple to Nest

Prior to Fadell's move into 'the conscious home' environment, he had made his name as one of the fathers of the original iPod and iPhone, while is in his position as head of the company's music division until 2008.

In a comment to the BBC, Fadell stated that he had first come into contact with the search engine in 2011 through a "chance meeting" with Google's co-founder Sergey Brin. On showing an early version of the Nest thermostat to Mr Brin, many of Google's staff members had the devices installed in their homes. Fadell said:

"They've always been keen on what we were doing, because they thought we had a crazy idea and they love crazy ideas."

Will Google use Nest to turn up the heat?

Since yesterday's announcement, many critics have speculated over Google's intentions with its latest purchase, including suggestions such as audio Google ads transmitted throughout the home and a voice controlled thermostat.

However, despite Google's billion dollar investment, Nest will remain under Fadell's control as an entirely separate company to the search engine. The CEO has reassured consumers that their privacy is not at risk with the product, and any user data acquired will not be used by Google.

Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword said: "The combination of Nest's hardware and Google's software should lead to some interesting products as technology advances deeper into our homes. The idea of making passive objects conscious is likely to become common place over the next year, and Google's latest acquisition places further emphasis on that fact. It also reinforces the fact that Google has long outgrown its reputation as just a search engine."