Google's Nest Labs Opens Its APIs to Innovations From Other Firms

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2014-06-24 Print this article Print
Google smart home

"When we first heard about the Nest Developer Program, we knew we wanted to be a part of it," Phil Bosua, the founder and CEO of LIFX, said in a statement. "Nest brings a whole other dimension to LIFX. Who would have thought by combining Nest products and LIFX products, we could help save lives?"

This is the second big news announcement by Nest in a week. On June 20, Nest announced that it is purchasing in-home video monitoring vendor Dropcam for $555 million to extend its high-tech services in the connected homes of its customers. With Dropcam, customers buy a special video camera for $149 for the standard version or $199 for the pro version, including improved low-light and other capabilities, and install them in their homes so they can see what's happening inside 24/7 from anywhere in the world. The cameras are connected to a cloud network that can record video for review on any connected devices from afar. Dropcam is a cloud-based WiFi video monitoring service that includes live streaming, two-way talk and remote viewing so that users can see what's happening in their homes. Users have access to mobile and Web apps to view free live-streaming video via iOS, Android, and desktop or laptop computers.

The Dropcam purchase by Nest Labs follows a string of other acquisitions by Google in the last few months. Earlier this month, Google announced the acquisition of satellite and satellite imaging vendor Skybox Imaging for $500 million. The Skybox deal will help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery, while also contributing to other Google projects. Founded in 2009, Skybox Imaging builds satellites and software in the pursuit of scalable computing and analytics to help find answers to the world's most important geo-spatial problems regardless of data source, according to the company.

In May 2014, Google bought mobile-device management vendor Divide for an undisclosed price to help increase enterprise use of its Android-powered mobile devices in workplaces by offering increased security and compliance controls for businesses.

Also in May, Google announced the purchase of Stackdriver, a Boston-based company that was started in 2012 to provide cloud application monitoring and data visualization services to users. On the same day, Google acquired Appetas, which helps restaurants build, maintain, promote and grow specialized Websites that serve the needs of the food industry. Google is shuttering Appetas as part of the purchase.

On May 6, Google acquired Adometry, a marketing and advertising optimization company that uses software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based advanced analytics to process and analyze tens of billions of impressions and advertising transactions per month to identify what consumers are buying.

In April 2014, Google announced that it was getting into the high-altitude drone business with its purchase of Titan Aerospace in a move that is closely linked to Google's Project Loon efforts, which use high-altitude balloons to build a high-speed Internet network. High-altitude Internet networks have been on Google's radar since the company launched its Project Loon experiments in 2013, according to an eWEEK report.



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