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Google has just announced that they will be acquiring Nest Labs, Inc – the company behind one of the most innovative thermostats and more recently smoke alarms on the market – for $3.2 billion in cash.

Nest Labs has made quite the splash in the thermostat market and more recently in the Smoke detector market over the last couple of years but has so far failed to release either of their products outside of the US. The thermostat can be used in Australia – as various threads on Whirlpool atest to – and the Smoke detector is a very interesting prospect for Australia.

On the acquisition Larry Page, CEO of Google, said:

Nest’s founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family. 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!

Tony Fadell, the current CEO of Nest will remain in charge of the company or the forseeable future, which Google apparently wants to retain its own distinct brand identity. Mr Fadell said

We’re thrilled to join Google. 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.

Recently, Google began testing their own in-house energy management system called Energy Sense, an updated version of their PowerMeter service. The Energy Sense service was at the time thought to be going to be licensed out to hardware vendors – also included an Android App to control your Thermostat, AndroidPolice managed to get screenshots of the App :

But with this acquisition, it appears Google wants end-to-end control of the hardware and software. This could mean a big play for the Home Automation market, which Google has previously looked at with their Android at Home announcement at Google IO back in 2011, which has since really fallen by the wayside.

The main issue for us here in Australia, is would we actually see the hardware here, it’s an interesting question given Google’s decisions relating to hardware availability in the past. The answer is, we’ll have to wait and see.

Would you be interested in a Nest style Thermostat or Smoke Alarm?

Source: Google.
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    From a pure financial and valuation perspective, this would not make any sense. But Google is definitely more interested in the team than in the products. They need more hardware guys for sure.


    there is still a lot of interfacing that this Nest thermostat need to consider if it’s marketed to replace a “conventional” thermostat control. An AC controller not only controlling on/off, but also let the user to select different type of control, eg. ventilation mode, fan speed, zone/dampers control etc. Also, a reverse cycle condensing unit normally has defrosting mode to prevent icing on coil, how does it address the communication between this Nest and all these function/control is something i’m interested to understand. At the moment seems to me this Nest thing is over simplifying the control system architect, or… Read more »

    Clarence Tang

    Hopefully they’ll release a 240V model soon… looks like a promising device.