This marriage does not come as a surprise. Combine the aesthetic and engineering skills of former Apple employees with the capital resources and never ending hunger for data, and both parties say “I do.” At $3.2 billion and a need for more capital, Nest was hard-pressed to object.
Some time ago, Remodel Blog posted a successful video on how to install the Nest Learning Thermostat. Recently, Nest Labs debuted its Nest Protect smoke detector. As you can imagine, with wifi and internet connectivity, it offers far more than just an alarm signal when it senses smoke.
As written elsewhere, Google will now be able to detect at exactly what time furnaces and cooling systems are switched on and off; how often; and when occupants put the unit in “away” mode. Without looking too far, I see Google making money off energy conservation contractors looking to connect with homeowners whose houses use more energy than normal. I can see Google offering a connection to Nest Protect to burglar alarm companies, which can use Nest thermostats or smoke alarms as extensions of their own systems. The data-mining possibilities are extensive and potentially valuable. Whether or not the public will go along with this is a different question, and one that will become known over time.
As a fan of Nest products, I will now look at its future products with a healthy dose of suspicion. Installing a new Nest device in my home or office will mean it does not come alone. Google and its many Ph.D’s will come along, too. I am not sure my home is large enough.