Jan 15, 2014

Will Google’s acquisition of Nest actually slow development of the “smart home?”

Google spent $3.2 billion to acquire Nest, the company who developed smart thermostats. My first thought was that it was awesome, since there will be a company with vast resources, both financially and intellectually, to continue the march towards a “smart home” future. However, it seems that more of the articles I’ve seen are from people worried that through Nest, Google will now be able to gain more info about their homes. I’ve personally never been overly concerned whether anyone knows that I like to keep my house at 62 in the winter, but maybe that’s just me. Will privacy concerns or anti-Google sentiment cause Google’s purchase of Nest to decelerate adoption the internet of things and the smart home?

For the people paying attention it probably will make them more cautious. But who knows how many people that is? There's no real way to tell.

Google had better be careful though, they already have a bad rep when it comes privacy issues. This could just make it worse if they aren't very careful in how they do things with Nest.

If you are reading sources like IT World, you are much more aware/engaged in online privacy issues than 90% of the population. Most people don’t even think about the privacy implications of their choices. Ever seen Facebook? Ever seen the insanely personal stuff many people share on there? Think those people are thinking about privacy? Me neither.


It is more likely that this will accelerate the spread of the Smart Home model. Google has the resources to develop more products that people (probably) want and the talent to make them well. Plus, Google has proven that they will give something a try, and if it doesn’t work, come back with a new approach until it does. It will be interesting to watch and see what they do with Nest. 

Not a chance. The vast majority of people long ago gave up many of their privacy rights in return for the little conveniences provided by mobile devices and apps, social networks and other digital collectors of our personal data.
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