Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest, creator of the smart thermostat and smoke detector, caught many industry watchers by surprise. But Google’s move to snap up one of the leading companies in the nascent field of devices that are paving the way for the “Internet of Things” is only surprising if you don’t know what Nest is all about.
For the uninitiated, Nest is a company devoted to making everyday household objects smarter through advanced design and Internet-enabled features. Nest CEO Tony Fadell, a former Apple employee who worked on the original iPod, refers to this dynamic as “the conscious home,” an environment in which nearly every formerly mundane and passive device suddenly becomes as advanced and upgradeable as your smartphone.
Currently, the company’s two flagship devices are the Nest Thermostat ($249) and the Nest Protect ($129), a smoke and carbon-monoxide detector. (See videos below).
Some recent standouts in the field include the August smart lock, Philips’ smart light bulb Hue and Samsung’s T9000 Refrigerator, but so far Nest appears to have gained the most traction. Enter: Google. … (Read more)