What is Nest and What Can it Do and Why Did Google Just Buy it for $3.2 Billion

Google completed its acquisition of Nest on February 7th. The $3.2 billion deal was one of Google’s most high profile and unexpected purchases in recent memory, obtaining the hardware company’s portfolio of home automation devices and staff.

What is Nest?

Led by Tony Fadell, former Senior VP of the iPod division at Apple, Nest is a company built around home automation and reinventing forsaken hardware devices in your home – thermostats and carbon monoxide/smoke detectors.

What Can Nest Do

Nest’s reinvented thermostat is smart – kind of like the Roomba of thermostats, it will learn your home heating and cooling preferences over the course of a few weeks and then automatically adjust the temperature. You can control the thermostat with your smartphone and make adjustments remotely. It costs $249 but Nest thinks you’ll make up that expense within a year. Read More about the Nest Thermostat

Nest digital thermostat and smoke alarmThere’s also a smoke/carbon monoxide detector. If you burned the toast, Nest Protect won’t start yelling at you. Instead it turns yellow and speaks with a human voice and gives you an early warning. To silence an alarm, all you have to do is wave your hand 2 to 8 feet beneath it. If the batteries are running low, you’ll get an alert on your phone. All the smoke detectors in the house are connected even if wifi is down. If one alarm goes off, a human voice will tell you where the problem is in the house. If the carbon monoxide alarm goes off, Nest Protect will automatically turn off your gas furnace – a possible source of carbon monoxide leaks. Next time you stumble out of bed at night, Nest Protect can light your way down the hallway automatically. Each Nest Protect unit costs $129. Read More about Nest Protect

Why Did Google Buy Nest for $3.2 Billion?

Google has big plans for the team behind the connected device company. Google will keep the Nest group intact inside the company. The new division will still work on hardware devices, but not necessarily thermostats or smoke detectors. In fact, Google would like Fadell to work on gadgets that make more sense for the company. Will it be a phone or a tablet? It’s unclear for now.

While Nest first became popular with its thermostats, Google didn’t buy the company for these devices. First and foremost, the company wanted to snatch the great product team.

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