Google is paying $3.2 billion to acquire Nest Labs, a developer of WiFi-connected thermostats and smoke detectors, in a move that will likely expand the use of its Android operating system to connect with smart devices.
This is the largest acquisition Google has ever made with the exception of its 2011 purchase of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. The Nest Learning Thermostat uses sensors to train itself to the behavior of people leaving and entering different rooms of the house, gathering data and becoming smarter.
Google is already expanding the use of its Android system onto car computer systems with its new Open Auto Alliance. Adding Nest's capability to develop a network of interconnected devices may help Google create products that know what users want before they ask for it. Nest devices are connected with iPhones but Google will likely also connect the products with its Android system.
The deal is expected to close "in the next few months," Google said in a company blog post on Monday announcing the deal.
"Nest's founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family," Google CEO Larry Page said in the blog post. "They're already delivering amazing products you can buy right now--thermostats that save energy and [smoke] 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!"
Nest CEO Tony Fadell, who is a former Apple employee credited with helping to design the iPod, said in a separate blog post that he is excited the company he co-founded in 2010 is joining Google, which gave Nest venture capital funding in 2011.
"Google will help us fully realize our vision of the conscious home and allow us to change the world faster than we ever could if we continued to go it alone," Fadell said. "We've had great momentum, but this is a rocket ship."