At the beginning of the year Google purchased Nest Labs, a company famous for their well designed thermostat and smoke alarm products, in a move signalling Google’s intentions in home automation. Google has moved further into this territory, by today announcing the purchase of Dropcam.
Technically, the now Google owned Nest Labs made the purchase, shelling out USD$555 million of cold hard cash for the company who sells hardware as well as providing ‘cloud-based Wi-Fi video monitoring service with free live streaming, two-way talk and remote viewing that makes it easy to stay connected with places, people and pets, no matter where you are.’
In a nutshell Dropcam is a company that does not only hardware but software as well. They make cameras for your home that can stream video to the cloud which can be accessed by you at any time (if you pay extra for that option). Without the cloud storage solution you can still interact with the camera using your smartphone, zooming in on things, having a two-way conversations with whoever is in the camera’s field of view and also receive alerts for movement or noises.
Matt Rogers, Nest co-founder and VP of engineering, commented on the Nest blog:
The teams are very well-aligned and we love the product. We both think about the entire user experience from the unboxing on. We both care deeply about helping people stay connected with their homes when they’re not there.
Co-founder of Dropcam, Greg Duffy said via the company’s blog that:
Nest and Dropcam are kindred spirits. Both were born out of frustration with outdated, complicated products that do the opposite of making life better….. Our products and technologies are a natural fit and by joining up with Nest we can fully realize our vision.
Nest’s plans are to work with Dropcam to “reinvent products that will help shape the future of the conscious home and bring our shared vision to more and more people around the world.” For now both products will be sold as they currently are but it’s not too hard to see them linking up in the future. Nest devices are available via the Google Play store in the US so maybe Dropcam will end up there too. Unfortunately Nest is not available via the Play Store for us Aussies so we will most likely not see Dropcam available for us but it can be purchased via the usual channel, eBay.
What do you think? Part of Google’s grand plans? Does it make you more uneasy about the amount of data Google has on you, now with an eye on you in your home?