Google buys Nest, Bringing the ‘Smart Home’ and ‘The Internet of Things’ One Step Closer to Reality

Last Monday news broke that Google had acquired Nest Labs for $3.2 Billion. Creators of the Nest Learning Thermostat, and more recently the Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector, Nest Labs specializes in making your home smarter. These appliances  learn your patterns and lifestyle, and make adjustments accordingly so you don’t have to. Even more interestingly, Google says Nest will remain intact as is, running completely independently of Google. Co-founder and CEO of Nest Tony Fadell, who is most famous for creating the iPod for Apple, will remain in his current position, which was quite surprising given Apple and Google’s long standing rivalry.
Google is most certainly no stranger to technologies that learn from their users habits, nor the idea of a connected home. In 2011, Google announced it’s ‘Android@home’ project, in hopes of getting it’s Android mobile operating system in many other devices aside from phones and tablets in order to create an ecosystem of household devices that all talked to each other seamlessly. However, aside from a few prototypes, and one failed project (the Nexus Q home media device that sold so few units it was pulled from Google’s store only a few months after release and was never mentioned again), nothing’s come of this ‘Android@home’ project. However, Google’s software is well known for it’s learning capabilities, most notably Google Now, Android’s personal assistant and competitor to Apple’s Siri. Google Now tracks your behavior and gives you relevant information based on what it thinks you will do next, and does this well.
One can only think that between the brilliance of Google’s learning software technology, and Nest’s award winning smart devices, the two companies sharing information, even with Nest working independently, will create a new smart ecosystem of devices that all talk to each other. Many people say that “the internet of things” will never work because all these manufacturers are basing their hardware on different technologies that don’t talk to each other. But my personal opinion, this will help solve that problem, as Android is an open operating system that anyone can use, allowing one manufacturer to create devices that talk to another manufacturer’s devices seamlessly. It may take some time, but I see the “Smart Home” and the “Internet of Things” becoming reality in the next 10 years or so, with all these devices talking to each other, and maybe the Nest devices become the ‘pure Google experience’ of home automation, similar to the “Nexus” brand for Google’s current Android ecosystem.

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