Google has announced an agreement to purchase Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in cash.
Nest, best known for smart thermostats and smoke alarms is a successful home hardware tech startup founded by Tony Fadell, one of the fathers of the Apple iPod.
Larry Page, CEO of Google, said: “Nest’s founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family. They’re already delivering amazing products you can buy right now–thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe. We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams!”
The Nest thermostat was released in 2011, and the company followed up with the pictured Nest Protect CO and smoke detector late last year. Both products have been widely praised for their Apple-like simplicity and ease of use.
Along with Fadell, a number of other Nest employees came from Apple, so it’s a big surprise to hear that Google made the move to acquire the hot company. Did Apple miss out?
Earlier this month, Nest raised more than $150 million in funding after being valued at $2 billion. The startup made a name for itself with the Nest thermostat, which you can control over the net. The device learns from your behavioral patterns, adjusting itself in an effort to keep you comfortable and save money on your utility bills. Then, in October, Nest introduced a smoke detector that uses verbal and light cues to tell you when it’s low on batteries or when carbon monoxide levels are dangerously high.
The acquisition is yet another way Google is moving into the hardware game. In mid-2012, it acquired Motorola Mobility, through which it sells smartphones and other devices. It offers the Chromebook Pixel, a machine that run its own Chrome OS operating systems. And it sells the much-praised (and super cheap) Chromecast dongle for new-age TV viewing.