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Why Google Acquired Nest For $3.2 Billion

January 16, 2014
Earlier this week Google announced plans to acquire the home device maker Nest Labs for a whopping $3.2 billion. You might recognize the name from the company’s talked about smart thermostat. It’s the one that learns your schedule, programs itself and can be controlled from your phone. And the better you teach it the more money it will save you.

Nest has built its foundation upon the idea of ‘the connected home’. A writer for CNET sums up the idea describing it as, “connecting heating systems, lighting systems and appliances to the Internet so that they can be made more efficient and controlled from afar.”

Internet connectivity. Now that’s where Google comes in. We know that Google is a pro when it comes to tapping into our online habits. It already knows where we live, how old we are, our purchasing habits — even that new pair of shoes we mulled over and decided not to buy (not yet, at least). But insight into our activity when step away from our computers is one thing Google hasn’t quite been able to get its hands on yet.

Until now that is. As a writer for The Verge points out, “A combination of Nest's home solutions coupled with Google's language recognition could give Google its strongest path yet into your home.” But many seem to be questioning if that’s a path they want Google to have.

The Seattle Times reports that many are pledging to return their smart thermostats upon hearing the news. Privacy concerns were definitely a topic for discussion following the announcement. Not everyone was comfortable with the idea of a search giant like Google owning a company like Nest.

But, when asked if Nest’s data would be shared with Google, the company’s founder and VP of engineering stated in a blog post, “Our privacy policy clearly limits the use of customer information to providing and improving Nest’s products and services. We’ve always taken privacy seriously and this will not change.”

Privacy concerns aside, the consensus seems to be that the acquisition was indeed a smart move for Google.