Google has landed itself back in the tech news spotlight with its recent $3.2 billion purchase of Nest, the company that makes "smart" thermostats, which learn to self-adjust a home's temperature to fit an individual's lifestyle, and "smart" fire alarm / carbon dioxide detectors. As with anything that's discussed on the Internet, reactions to this news has been mixed.
Detractors Fear Google's Presence in Their Homes
Some people have vocally denounced the move, citing privacy concerns. With Nest's ability to know and record when you're most active, as well as when you're home and away, critics fear that Google is going to use such information to some nefarious end. While Gmail and search engine queries are OK, letting Google know when their house is on fire is just a step too far.
For others, the fear is that Google will somehow tamper with an already great product. That said, we're not sure how having the backing of a company that's willing to spend $3.2 billion dollars on a device could be a bad partnership. However, we agree that Google certainly seems to have an agenda, and the search giant will make sure that Nest adheres to it. The hope is that Google's plan just doesn't stray too far from Nest's original direction.
Others Are Optimistic About Smart Home Possibilities
Alternatively, many people are cheering about the acquisition; some believe it could signal the beginning of true (and truly useful) smart home automation. For years, companies have attempted to conquer the home, yet none have made it work. Though a smaller company, Nest has been working slowly towards that end in a piecemeal way — that is, getting one piece right, then moving on to the next instead of taking on the whole hog. With Google's backing, maybe Nest can bring its brand of highly-designed and thoughtful automation to more facets of the home more quickly.
Still others point to Google's recent acquisition of military-grade robotics company Boston Dynamics... and then just shrug and say, "Google's gone crazy." (Personally, we think the two purchases mean that the search giant is working on a robot who will bring us iced tea when we're hot and a blanket when we're cold. We can dream, can't we?!)
Readers, what's your take on this? Why do you think Google's purchased Nest, and does it bother you? Let us know your predictions and opinions in the comments, below!