dropcam

Mere months after being acquired by Google, smart home specialist Nest Labs is spending more than half a billion for security camera maker Dropcam.

As first reported in May, Nest is buying Dropcam in a bid to become a full-fledged home automation solution, extending from thermostats and smoke detectors to home security and beyond. As part of the $555 million cash deal, Dropcam will be absorbed into Nest, and adopt its identity and privacy policy.

Earlier this year, Google told the SEC that it envisions a future where it serves ads on devices like thermostats, fridge doors, and smartwatches. Responding to privacy concerns, Nest’s Tony Fadell was quick to clarify that we shouldn’t expect ads on our Nest thermostats anytime soon. To appease privacy worries, Nest says it won’t share Dropcam data with anyone, including Google. Dropcam’s privacy policy will remain unchanged for now, and, if it changes in the future, users will be able to opt-in to data sharing. Dropcam products will continue to sell online and from retailers like Best Buy.

Nest says it won’t share Dropcam data with anyone, including Google

Dropcam currently sells a $199 connected web cam, as well as a cheaper motion sensor that users can place in places like hallways to detect movements such as the opening of a door. The company also has a cloud platform for storing and accessing security footage. For $99 a year, customers can store up to a week of footage online, and Dropcam says 39 percent of customers opt for the service.

Nest co-founder Matt Rogers said Nest and Dropcam share a very similar vision of the smart home future: “Our companies actually have a lot in common […] 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.”

Through Nest, Google is making a strong push into the connected home business, at a time when archrival Apple is taking a more open approach to extending its ecosystem into smart homes. Apple recently unveiled HomeKit, a framework that would allow smart home and appliances makers to connect their products to iOS devices. In contrast and somehow uncharacteristically, Google is going on the integrated path by acquiring the hottest startups in the field.

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