Google continues its push into home automation, energy monitoring

It was only a matter of time before someone bigger came around throwing around a lot of cash, and that day is today. Nest Labs dazzled an American audience accustomed to not thinking about or even caring about one of devices that was responsible for a huge chunk of monthly power consumption: the thermostat.
The first generation Nest Learning Thermostat (which launched in late 2011) provided an easy to use interface, and made it easy for homeowner to see HOW to save energy and WHEN they would save energy based on their habits. Nest Labs followed up with a smaller profile second-generation thermostat in 2012.

Nest Labs Learning Thermostat
The company then late last year tried its hand at revolutionizing the smoke alarm segment with the Nest Protect.
Google was sitting back this whole time, watching and waiting. And today, Google announced that it has acquiring Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in cash.

Nest founders Matt Rogers (L) and Tony Fadell (R) with Google CEO Larry Page (C)
“Nest’s founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family,” said Google CEO Larry Page. “They’re already delivering amazing products you can buy right now--thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe. We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams!”

Nest Protect Smoke Detector
Nest Labs CEO Tony Fadell will continue to manage the team under the new ownership of Google. “We’re thrilled to join Google,” said Fadell. “With their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world.”

According to a FAQ posted on Nest’s website, product warranties will stay the same, Nest thermostats will still be sold in retail stores, and the iOS version of the Nest app will still continue to support iOS. And since we are talking about Google, the sticky issue of privacy is also addressed:
Our privacy policy clearly limits the use of customer information to providing and improving Nest’s products and services. We’ve always taken privacy seriously and this will not change.
It was reported just last month that Google was testing internet-connected smart thermostats in St. Louis, but it looks like this latest purchase definitely jumpstarts those efforts.

Sources: Google, Nest [1], [2]

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