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Google’s Nest goes Big Brother with Dropcam

Google’s smart home energy and safety monitoring offshoot Nest has added remote CCTV to its line-up with the £336m purchase of Dropcam.

The cash deal will allow Nest to add home security to its eponymous smart heating control and smoke/carbon monoxide Protect products.

Google bought Nest earlier this year for £1.9bn, but the Dropcam buy-up is being funded from Nest’s own reserves and will see the firm relocate to the Nest offices in Palo Alto, California.

Dropcam's remote monitoring tech will be integrated into Nest
Dropcam’s remote monitoring tech will be integrated into Nest

Matt Rogers, Nest’s founder and head of engineering, said: “Many of you already own Dropcam products and have asked if we could make them work with Nest. Today, we’re one step closer to making that happen.

“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.”

Both Nest and Dropcam were quick to assure users that Dropcam’s products will now operate under Nest’s privacy policy, which doesn’t pass data on to any third parties, including Google, and is based on paid products instead of advertising.

The deal won’t change the current Dropcam products, but will see new products launched as part of the Nest range.

“Nest and Dropcam are kindred spirits. Both were born out of frustration with outdated, complicated products that do the opposite of making life better,” said Dropcam founder Greg Duffy.

Dropcam’s top-of-the-line camera costs £117, with a cheaper model for £88 with a lower resolution and less field of view. 

Nest will also be acquiring Dropcam’s cloud offerings as part of the deal, with the company offering a cloud-based video archiving tool from £58 annually.

The Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector was taken off sale for two months earlier this year after a bug emerged which could cause it to unexpectedly to shut down.

Nest hopes that by adding Dropcam’s video recording technology to their portfolio of products, they will be able to offer  a compelling smart-home offering. 

Rival Archos recently launched a £200 Smart Home package. The Android-powered offering boasts two cameras, two motion detectors and two humidity sensors, and is completely extensible.  

The smart home market is set to be worth £42bn by 2018, according to studies by Juniper Research.


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