Google Buys Nest - Will They Expand To Security / Surveillance?

For $3.2 billion, more than what Axis is worth, Google is acquiring Nest, a startup founded in 2010 whose aim is to "take the unloved products in your home and make simple, beautiful, thoughtful things." Their first one was the thermostat, and recently they expanded to smoke detectors.

Intrusion? Video? Are these next?

In the past, one could simply think of Google as a software business, but it is clear with its series of recent releases and acquisitions that the company is targeting hardware as well. So do you think Google will expand to security / surveillance?

Google has lots of money and a wealth of aggresive young minds, which are well paid, and motivated to innovate. Google's approach, is to get into every sector of the economy, where they can dominate. They are the juggernaut of business. If they decide to move into our sector, watch out, many of us will be out of business very soon. Therefore, start looking for other economic sectors to make a living, soon, before is too late.

I think the smart money is probably on yes. I'd guess a security system before surveillance. And I hope that they'll tie things together via API, so the security system and thermostats and even smoke alarms communicate.

First Thought: Google overpaid

Second Thought, in regards to 'Google is a bunch of innovators':

Third Thought: Google will buy itself into security before it greenfields a new product.

Hey, Glass is innovative. It's just also stupid.

Google could be taking their lead from They too started as a software entity and had their birth when their CEO purchased a home security system.

Oh, and nice selfie Bryan!

From today's edition of Fast Company:

"Nest, on the other hand, has actually started to execute on the promise of the connected home by creating a standard protocol for the house. If Nest is able to get there first, it'll be able to force other future players to build on its platform--if anyone wants to make some connected smart refrigerator or TV or toilet, the devices will have to speak Nest’s language. That's the kind of leverage that could make Nest (and now Google) a major player in the industry."

"...execute on the promise of the connected home by creating a standard protocol for the house."

Hmmm.... X10 anyone?

Hmmm... Ethernet anyone?

If the security industry drags it's feet on joining the 21st century, it will be dragged kicking and screaming there by the technology companies.

They were working on a camera to go after DropCam last I heard (4 mos ago) but I am not sure google will want the potential pr issues involved in this. My guess is that they will focus on power usage. If they do give the NestCam the green light it will have some serious analytics behind it.

Google is a great company, but if they came out with cloud cameras, I would never put one in my house. Talk about privacy concerns

Google wants to get into your home in any and every way possible.

How many of you have a Chromecast? Google knows what you are watching and when you are watching it.

With Nest, they have knowledge (and control?) over your HVAC and smoke alarms.

Home surveillance/security/alarm/automation is certainly next. Google literally watching you with a camera would be a tough sell to the public, but that doesn't mean they won't try it. They will probably try to spin it as "video alarm verification" or "smart analytics of meta-data only - we aren't really watching you!"

Question: So does Google have Next develop it internally or buy someone like a Dropcam (Valley company with shared investors) or?

The higher-ups at Google are probably asking that same question. Google has the resources to do this all internally, but this may be more of a marketing decision. If they buy Dropcam then all they have to do is flip a switch to have their cameras change from AWS to Google Cloud. Then Google gets the current installed base, owns all your video, and there is probably less fear factor of buying a "Google Camera." I.e. if Nest stays "Nest" and Dropcam stays "Dropcam" then there is less chance people will realize that a single company owns every square foot of their home.

OTOH, it may be cheaper to have Nest do it. They already do embedded + wifi + cloud + slick design. It's not that much more effort to add an imager and lens to the front of it to get a Dropcam clone. And they already paid an ungodly sum to Nest. Maybe a Nest camera is part of that sum.

This acquisition has full home automation written all overt it. From entertainment , robotic maintenance, security etcetera... They own robots , security systems, alarm systems. Self driven automobiles . Get the picture!

Anyone hear about Nestor Inc., a traffic camera company who's stock when up by about a 1000%, and then dropped like a rock. Anyone wanna guess why?

Don't remind me. I went public with my penny stocks companies named "Twittered' and "Foceback' two weeks too late.

If it supports Google's ad based business model. Part of Nest is that it sends e-mails to advise you of your power usage, how you can do better etc. I would imagine Google plans to monetize those elements, as they provide an opportunity for very targeted advertising. Think air filters, maintenance contracts, insulation, LED light bulbs and anything that has a connection to having a more effiicent home. The more targeted the advertising, the more they can charge for it.

If there's an opportunity in the security industry to monetize through ad revenue, expect Google to show up at some point.

So, how does everyone feel about OLED card readers that play ads targeted to the credential holder?

If there's an opportunity in the security industry to monetize through ad revenue, expect Google to show up at some point.

So, how does everyone feel about OLED card readers that play ads targeted to the credential holder?

A scenario like this would not surprise me at all. Look back at the movie "Minority Report" with Tom Cruise. Remember the billboards that scanned the eyes of people walking by and played targeted ads for that person? I realize its off the topic of the security industry, but thats what the world is coming to.

If we are going for futuristic hypotheticals, potentially Google could use video from your house to recommend things you might want to buy - it sees you have a baby, run ads for baby products, it sees you have an old sofa, run ads for a new one.

That said, the processing power to do this accurately and the privacy implications of such a move are significant.

Agreed, it gets a little creepy. Flipping it around, has there been any discussion on the use of Google glass in security? Imagine guards wearing them being able to visually access any of their system's video via glass. Add some facial recognition for video lookup and it could get quite interesting.


At ASIS, IQinVision was demoing a protoype of Google Glass with their cameras but that's as far as I've seen so far.

I think sunglasses with embeddable cameras have a future, given wider availability and lower price point.

Totally agree to Brian's comments! Somehow there is a trend going on to take over new start-ups with popular names and obviously a buzz, by overpaying them way too much than the returns could be. The classic example was Microsoft's acquisition of Skype for some 2-3 billion! What do they get out of it? Google foraging themselves in the security arena is simply a good and a bad thing. Good thing will be new innovative and never-thought-of-this-earlier products and bad thing will be it will create a competition (healthy one though!) in an already overcrowded market. Personally I welcome Google's entry and look forward to more I notations in this area.