When Nest Labs was acquired by Google in February of this year for around $3.2 billion USD, they probably were not expecting that just under 5 months later they would be making a $555 million dollar purchase of Dropcam. Adding to the Nest family, Dropcam specializes in wireless home monitoring cameras which are accessible over the Internet. Google is looking to tighten their grip on the Internet of Things (IoT) market, and Nest is best known for their Protect smoke detector, and their Learning Thermostat for the home.
These products are quickly finding their way to many different people’s homes. At the beginning of 2013, Nest was shipping around 40,000 Learning Thermostats every month. It is no wonder then that Google chose to acquire the ever more popular company in order to start making headway in the IoT technology market. Dropcam founders Greg Duffy and Aamir Virani originally met when they were both working for Xobni, an email application start-up. They had many plans in the works, but the one that stuck was one inspired by family. Virani recalls that his father once set up a series of IP cameras around his home in order to find out which of his neighbors was letting their dog poop on his lawn. The only problem with this idea was that the hard drive that the video was being stored on kept on filling up, or it would shut off after the computer would install updates. So the journey towards home security began.
As the leaders of Dropcam began searching for a way to solve the storage issues, cloud storage seemed like a pretty natural first step. In addition to being able to store compressed HD video on the cloud, the cameras that Dropcam offers are also capable of night-vision, USB charging, and have a special feature that allows the user to speak through the camera itself. These features have set this amazing company quite far apart from others on the home monitoring market. To say the least Nest Labs purchasing Dropcam was one of the best moves possible for bringing together these new IoT kids on the block.
Currently a regular Dropcam with night vision, 720p HD recording, and 8x zoom is going for $149 USD. The upgraded Pro model goes for $199 USD and includes support for mobile iOS devices, 5GHz wi-fi connections, and has a 130 degree field of view versus the regular 107 degrees. Out of all the people who buy these cameras, around 25 percent buy more than one for their home. When it comes right down to it, being able to yell at the dog to get off the couch, or being able to scare a burglar with a voice from God is what really counts for people when they are monitoring their homes. Nest Labs acquiring Dropcam may be one of the best things for the world of IoT. The refinements that Google and Nest Labs have made to their products bodes well for the Dropcam family. It will be interesting to see the ways that these companies will integrate these great features and services in the near future.
Opinion By Phillip Schmidt