While Google rules as the search engine of the Internet, mapping locations, news, smartphone apps, health incentives and many other innovations that have helped and tracked consumer habits, its most recent purchase is helping Google move into home automation. The purchase of Nest Labs, a home automation company, has caused rumors online about the possibility of Google being able to monitor people in their homes. But is monitoring user habits what Google is in the market for, or is the purchase of Nest Labs just a profitable buy for the company that now has it all?
Last week, a deal caught the attention of many as Google made a $3.2 billion purchase for Nest Labs. Nest Labs, formerly created and run by Apple, is known for developing several smart home technologies, including self-programming thermostats and smoke alarms. Many of the devices created by Nest Labs can also be controlled away from home through apps available on smartphones.
While products from Nest Labs have seen much success on the market, revenues for the company are expected to grow by millions in the next several years, leading many business experts wondering why Nest Labs sold at all. But according to Tony Fadell of Apple, the purchase made by Google “allows us to accelerate and stay in front of the coming wave of products for what we like to call the conscious home.” Other statements made by Fadell show that this purchase made by Google is not actually a buyout of the company, but more of a cooperation, only now owned by Google. Fadell said that Nest Labs would still keep the original name and brand and still be run by himself, but with help from Google, Nest Labs will be able to reach newer innovations in the smart home sooner than they would have been able to on its own.
Before the Nest Labs purchase, Google was already an investor in the company, though despite trials in recent years Google has never made it into the home market. By purchasing Nest Labs, Google can now move in and play a major role in home automation.
It seems the two companies are combining resources to develop “the conscious home” sooner rather than later. According to reports, this move has acquired Google for a talented team of engineers who specialize in creating inventions in home automation. With the new combination of talented minds, consumers can expect to see leading products to be released in home automation within the next year or so. Although, the products that Nest Lab currently has are still on the market and making their way into homes everywhere.
The Nest Labs sale to Google, however, is causing an uproar from consumers everywhere as more products in home automation also means less security in the home, according to comments made on social media networks. Google already acquires information on consumer online, energy and home habits, but now Google is moving into the home leaving consumers to wonder what information Google will gather from each home and how much of it will stay private.
With the most recent hacker invasions occurring in a variety of networks over the last couple of months, increasing the products in home automation and their access to the Internet could also mean the potential for hackers to get into the home as well. As Google and many other companies already share certain information with “trusted third-party companies,” allowing Google access to homes around the world may prove to be a risk. For now, consumers can only sit back and wait as rumors spread on the intentions of Google after moving into home automation.
By Crystal Boulware