Google Inc took its biggest step to go deeper into consumers’ homes, announcing a $3.2 billion deal to buy smart thermostat and smoke alarm-maker Nest Labs Inc, scooping up a promising line of products and a prized design team led by the “godfather” of the iPod.
Nest will continue to operate as its own distinct brand after the all-cash deal closes, Google said on Monday.
The deal is the second largest in Google’s history after the $12.5 billion acquisition of mobile phone maker Motorola in 2012.
“Nest Labs appears to be focused on thermostats and smoke alarms, but it’s not far-fetched to see Google expanding this technology into other devices over time,” said Shyam Patil, an analyst at Wedbush.
“Home automation is one of the bigger opportunities when you talk about the Internet of everything and connecting everything. This acquisition furthers their strategy around that,” he said.
Few wonders of the digital age inspire such bipolar reactions in me as Google. There are times when I love its convenience, like when I accept an appointment invitation in Gmail and it is added to my calendar without me having to do more than just click “Yes”. Then there are times when I start to think, “Google knows everything I’m doing.”
That feeling will probably get worse if I’m worried about them staring at me while I sleep from the smoke detector over my bed, which I currently believe the NSA is doing.