Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has recently acquired Nest Labs, a professional company that specializes in smart smoke detectors and thermostats, and this action can be extremely confusing for Google fans. In the end, why wouldn’t it be if you think about the fact that the software giant that initially launched itself as a search engine spends over $3 billion on a company that is totally unrelated to its field of activity? The answer is very simple: Google is so versatile that it plans to launch (or re-launch, better said) itself in the smart home industry as well, not to mention that it is already considered the world’s number one innovator at the moment.
Nevertheless, acquiring Nest Labs is certainly not Google’s first attempt to become popular in the smart home industry – the company has tried that a couple of times before and unfortunately it has failed every time. This is yet another attempt that shows Google’s genuine intentions of becoming a leader in the tech market industry as well.
Brief Overview Of Google’s Previous Attempts
As mentioned above, Google has tried to make a name for itself in the smart home industry a few years back, and the first major step was acquiring PowerMeter back in 2009. In a nutshell, this was a massive software project that aimed to help consumers track how much electricity their homes would consume in real time – by acquiring PowerMeter, Google wanted to invest in renewable energy as well as in alternative sources that would eventually reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The project ended less than two years after it was launched, in September 2011. At the same time, the purpose of this project was to also raise awareness amongst homeowners and to help them understand why it is essential to try and make their homes as energy-efficient as possible.
The second one of Google’s attempts to launch itself in the smart home industry was by developing the popular Android@Home platform, which was designed to help electronic manufacturers embed LED light bulbs into their Internet-connected objects. However, if the PowerMeter project was released and worked for two years, the Android@Home project was actually abandoned right away.
It seems that even though Google did have the best intentions and its ideas were aimed at helping the industry, it lacked the idea of developing an advanced and feature-rich product that would actually incorporate all the features and functions the modern consumer would need, a product that would ideally combine both software and hardware elements and that would make our lives easier and more pleasant. This is exactly what Google had in mind when purchasing Nest Labs for the staggering sum of $3.2 billion.
How Will Buying Nest Labs Benefit Google?
A person that plays a very important role in this entire equation is Tony Fadell, who is better known as the inventor of the popular iPod. He actually took his innovation a step further by embedding his iPod lessons into one of the thermostats developed by Nest Labs – this way, the thermostat simply taps into the Internet information and weather forecasts depending on user movements, so that it will select the most suitable temperature for the room where it is located. Google believes that it can make a very good team with Tony Fadell and his team from Nest Labs by developing the data collected by the Nest thermostats and converting it into something even more valuable, something with which Google hopes to take the lead in this relatively new tech market segment – in the end, the concept of “smart homes” is still relatively new.
What Google aims to do is to combine the Nest information with the Google technology in order to benefit the customers to a new different level – not only will the new thermostats set the optimal room temperature with no effort on your behalf, but it will actually take other variables into account as well by analyzing your preferences, such as how much time you need for breakfast or when will you leave for work. For this type of highly advanced data processing, Google will certainly need to develop state of the art algorithms that will convert the data into intelligible, usable information. Eventually, Google hopes to be able to develop a thermostat that will monitor your routine and your movements around the home, then browse for weather forecasts online and let you know how the weather will be like right before you go out the door, heading to work. However, at the time being this is still a theory that Google helps to be able to use in practice as well.