Back in January, Google paid $3.2 billion to acquire Nest Labs, the makers of the smart thermostat and the Nest Protect smart smoke detector. The purchase signaled Google’s foray into linking its software platforms with smart home hardware – and today news broke that the company may be looking to expand its smart home products into the realm of home security.
According to a report from the Information, Google is in talks to acquire Dropcam, a company behind the Wi-Fi connected security camera that streams images and footage to other devices, like smartphones, tablets and computers. The report says that it is Google’s Nest division, specifically, that is exploring a potential acquisition. If a Dropcam acquisition comes to fruition, the buy could be yet another notch in Google’s “Internet of Things” (IoT) belt.
We’ve previously heard hints that Google is looking to expand into the world of IoT via Android, and considering Dropcam’s similarities to Nest’s line of products, this news is not much of a surprise. It also dovetails with yesterday’s reports of a similar move coming from one of Google’s biggest rivals: Apple is rumored to be unveiling a smart home software platform at its upcoming WWDC event next week. Details regarding the rumor are light, but reports say that the smart home platform will be designed to work with iPhones and the forthcoming iOS 8 mobile operating system.
As Google pushes further into IoT, the company will undoubtedly find ways to integrate its smart hardware into its portfolio of smart software. The first few Android Wear devices will be coming out this summer, so it stands to reason that if you own a smartwatch running Google’s wearable OS, you should be able to control your Google-made smart home devices as well.
As Apple and Google broaden their horizons from gadgets you wear to devices that actually control your home, one has to wonder whether the two companies will continue to battle it out for dominance of your lifestyle or if they will instead join forces. After all, the Nest thermostat is for sale in the Apple Store. As pioneers in the Internet of Things space, these two tech giants may find it more beneficial to cooperate and allow their software and hardware products to work together seamlessly.
If that doesn’t happen, however, expect to see a nasty fight over control of your home’s lights, temperature and, well, maybe even its soul.