Google’s Nest is going all in with the acquisition of home automation startup, Revolv. The company makes a hub that allows users to control various home appliances via their smartphone. Think smart light bulbs, wireless home entertainment systems. Oh, and it controls thermostats. This builds a bit of redundancy into Nest, who is know for its Nest Thermostat.
The purchase is a bit outside of the ‘Works with Nest’ program unveiled in June. That program allowed third-party companies to integrate their product suites with Nest’s core offering. An example is Mercedes Benz, who has started to connect cars to the Nest Thermostat, allowing you to control the central air to warm or cool your house as you pull into the driveway.
In addition to the Revolv acquisition, Nest announced several new partners with the Nest program. The Pebble smartwatch, wireless sensor systems from SNUPI technologies and Rachio sprinklers.
Revolv released a statement via its website on the acquisition. “We have been inspired by Nest since our foundation, and are thrilled to be part of the Nest family. Together, we’re going to create some amazing products and continue to unify the connected home as part of the Works with Nest program.”
Google is rushing to stay in front of the home automation train. The company is using Nest to bolster its smart home portfolio. Apple has already announced its HomeKit app, that will allow iOS devices to control various smart home appliances.
Samsung is also reacting to the trend, recently inking a deal with SmartThings, a smart home platform. The companies rushing to get into the space should spur innovation and help keep prices in check.
As for Revolv? The company will be integrated into Nest, and the Revolv hubs will no longer be available for sale. The current hubs will continue to be supported, but expect new products to start to emerge from Google’s smart home unit.
People concerned about personal privacy should know the companies will not be sharing customer data with Google. I get the privacy statements in the wake of all that has happened over the past year, but how long before the Terms of Service change to give Google access to the data. Or, a cheaper product that gives Google access to consumer data.
Going that route would open a new revenue vertical to turn its advertising arm loose on your home appliances. We will just have to wait and see on that front.