In a clear statement that it believes the future of the home is a connected one, Google today announced its acquisition of smart device company Nest for US$3.2 billion. Following the success of its Learning Thermostat in 2011, Nest introduced its Protect smoke alarm last year, resulting in a line of products that has caught the eye of Google CEO Larry Page.
"Nest's founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family," Page said in a statement. "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 homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams!"
Tony Fadell, known to some as the "father of the iPod," is a former Apple engineer and vice president of iPod engineering who started Nest with a view to giving otherwise dull household appliances a technological makeover. The success of the Nest Learning Thermostat is centered on its ability to familiarize itself with the household and its users habits, offering convenience and reduced energy bills in the process.
"We're thrilled to join Google," says Fadell. "With their support, Nest will be even better place to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world."
Google first flagged its intentions to develop its own "Internet of Things" platform back in 2011 when it unveiled plans for Android @Home, through which household appliances would connect to and be controlled by Android devices. Where and how exactly Nest fits into the scheme of things remains to be seen, with Google remaining largely silent on the project since its announcement.
In a blog post published on its website, Nest emphasized that there will be no changes with regard to iOS compatibility of its devices, saying, "We'll continue supporting iOS, Android and modern web browsers so you can check in on your home and control the temperature from wherever you are."
The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be formalized in the next few months.