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Nest Is Buying Dropcam for More Data on Homes

Jun 21 2014, 2:21pm CDT | by

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Nest Is Buying Dropcam for More Data on Homes
 
 

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Nest Is Buying Dropcam for More Data on Homes

Looks like all those rumors turned out to be true. Nest is acquiring video monitoring company Dropcam for $555 million as part of Nest’s push further into the home.

Announced Friday afternoon, the cash deal will enable Nest to add to gather more detailed information about its users behavior–and improve the intelligence of its own products like the learning thermostat.

Dropcam sells a $150 and $200 camera for home monitoring as well as an optional cloud recording service for $99 a year. With the cloud service, users can receive activity notifications straight to their smartphones.

“Eventually, the plan is for us to work together to reinvent products that will help shape the future of the conscious home and bring our shared vision to more and more people around the world,” Nest cofounder Matt Rogers said in a company blog post.

One of Dropcam’s plans is to track doors openings and closing, according to the Wall Street Journal. Being able to gather such detailed information such as whether a door is opened or closed would vastly improve Nest’s intelligence about what’s going on in the home.

Currently, Nest’s data collecting abilities are slightly hindered. Its learning thermostat is limited to a single motion detector, so the company only knows if you’re home when you walk in front of the thermostat or if you tell it through the smartphone app.

Nest also makes the Nest Protect, its smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector, which comes with a motion sensor and hooks up to the thermostat, but can’t offer the same kind of intelligence about a home that camera monitoring could potentially bring.

And Nest’s move into home monitoring is an obvious one. Although the Nest Protect is primarily touted as a smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector, it’s clear it can become a lot more. According to the Nest Protect product page, “a new Nest Protect that works with wired security systems is already on its way.” (The “learn more” link goes to a nonexistent page.)

When a potential Dropcam purchase first surfaced late last month, many people weren’t comfortable with the idea of a company like Google, which bought Nest for $3.2 billion earlier this year, getting access to cameras in the home.

Nest seems sensitive to this kind of concern with Matt Rogers writing, “Like Nest customer data, Dropcam will come under Nest’s privacy policy, which explains that data won’t be shared with anyone (including Google) without a customer’s permission. Nest has a paid-for business model and ads are not part of our strategy. In acquiring Dropcam, we’ll apply that same policy to Dropcam too.”

 

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