back to article Google's Nest gobble: Soon ALL your HOME are BELONG to US

Google’s proposed $3.2bn purchase of Nest Labs, a maker of internet-connected round-the-home devices, shows that the online advertising giant considers the Internet of Things a serious proposition. A very serious proposition. It’s easy to be dismissive of the move. Nest is best known for an internet-enabled thermostat and a …

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  1. BongoJoe

    Thermostats

    I am looking forward to these Internet of Thing or Cloud Controlled Thermostats.

    My wife would welcome the day that when the termperature drops it would then either stoke up the fire or put another log onto the burner. I just can't see how these clever people at the Chocolate Factory are going to manage this but I will certainly buy one (on a trial basis, of course) to see how it's done.

    Well, we do have a form of Cloud Controlled Thermostat here in North Wales; when the cloud comes I light the fire.

    1. DropBear
      Joke

      Re: Thermostats

      "I just can't see how these clever people at the Chocolate Factory are going to manage this" - oh, but you're missing a critical piece of the puzzle. Just wait until the Housekeeping GBot comes out (with built-in blue/red LED lighting to appropriately indicate current degree of evilness at all times). I'm sure it will be happy to light the fire for you logs and all, whether or not you want it lit, in the burner or otherwise...

      1. BongoJoe

        Re: Thermostats

        Is this device of yours developed by Google or the Sons of Glyndŵr? I fear from the description that it may be the latter...

  2. Sander van der Wal
    Facepalm

    What problem I have worth paying good money for is T.I.O.T going to solve?

    Haven't heard a single one of them. Running out of milk isn't one of them as I don't drink that vile stuff.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: What problem I have worth paying good money for is T.I.O.T going to solve?

      If I were selling the technology I would probably argue cost savings -

      When the time comes that leccy companies have variable charging you will have to micro-manage your consumption to ensure you maximise your cost savings. That is only going to be fully achievable if you have it done by a computer. There are savings to be had today with careful management and an automated, integrated approach to energy use which you are likely already missing out on.

      Rather than having your heating system, fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, backup server, battery and electric car chargers, etc, each working out if it's cheaper to start-up now, hold off for a while, or start earlier than scheduled, it is easier and cheaper to have a single server crunch the numbers and tell the devices what to do and when.

      And you don't need a personal server when we already have one in the cloud ready to go. Our system which integrates everything and even caters for any self-sufficiency generation you have will be far easier to use and set-up than anything you can create yourself or find elsewhere.

      Bottom line; if it saves you money then why wouldn't you want it? If wasting money isn't a problem for you then fair enough.

      Not everyone will want it or see the benefit in having it but I imagine a lot would. The current hurdle is selling the idea to people and achieving initial take-up. It fits in with government desires and would probably also have environmentalist backing and, above all, saving money is a good motivation.

      1. Sander van der Wal

        Re: What problem I have worth paying good money for is T.I.O.T going to solve?

        "Rather than having your heating system, "

        Runs on natural gas, during late autumn, winter and early spring only

        "fridge, washing machine, "

        runs all the time, or just once a week

        "dishwasher, backup server, battery and electric car chargers, etc,"

        don't have 'm, apart from the backup server.

        So, how much is it going to save me then? And why won't the backup server be capable enough to do the math?

  3. DropBear
    WTF?

    Beg pardon?

    "forcing anyone using a product based on Nest technology to adopt Google as a service provider (again as Android users must)." - sorry, what now...? Which Google service can I as an Android user not avoid to use, exactly? I sync calendar and tasks with my own server, not Google. I use Gmail because I find it convenient; then again I also use Ymail on the same phone, I could stop using Gmail if I wished. Most stuff I search for I do from a (mobile) browser, and those can be configured to use any engine. Google Now is useless to me (literally not a single feature I could find a use for in my daily life) and so is Google Maps (I use a different, free app with turn-by-turn that incidentally has half of Europe downloaded for offline use - were you trying to say something, Gmaps...?) How much information exactly does Google get off the device nobody can say, but I sure do keep all the boxes unchecked. So which service did you say I must be using...?

    Oh, and regarding the IoT thingie - I strongly suspect Google just apes Samsung on this, who just announced they'd really like to network you fridge and washing machine. Or the other way around. Who cares - they are both wrong. I mean, 2014 will clearly be the year of the Internet of Things, right...? Just like every year for half a century now has been the year of the Smart Home, surely?

    1. frank ly

      @DropBear Re: Beg pardon?

      " I sync calendar and tasks with my own server, not Google."

      Can you tell me how you do that please. A couple of links would be nice. I've been wondering about syncing to a private ftp server using .ics files to hold different calendars. If i could get my Android calendar away from Google that would be nice.

      1. djack

        Re: @DropBear Beg pardon?

        "Can you tell me how you do that please."

        Install owncloud (http://www.owncloud.org/) on a server.

        Install a CalDAV and CardDAV client on your phone (I use two separate apps, but people have reported good results with DAVdroid).

        I have calendar and contacts synced between my phone, tablet, laptop and desktop.

  4. Thomas Allen
    Big Brother

    I don't want Google to be pinged every time I enter my front door, cook an egg or flush the toilet. I don't want my family to be logged as they enter and leave, gather in the dining room or go to bed. My thermostat, refrigerator and smoke alarm function perfectly as dumb devices. My mundane private life is mine and private.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So don't buy any connected devices.

      1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

        @AC: "So don't buy any connected devices."

        Easy to say. I predict that pretty soon dumb light bulbs and thermostats will either cost 10 times more than internet-connected ones or will be forced out of the market altogether because there will not be enough demand.

  5. Ralph B

    Internet of American Things

    Since the Nest thermostat only works in USA and Canada residents of the Rest of the World can sleep easy.

    1. Wensleydale Cheese
      FAIL

      Re: Internet of American Things

      "Since the Nest thermostat only works in USA and Canada residents of the Rest of the World can sleep easy."

      Oops.

      "Use of the thermostat outside the United States and Canada is complicated by the software setting time and other functions based on the ZIP code."

      When and if they eventually fix that, you will have to enter dates and times in US format,

      And probably decide the interface language by your IP address.

      What could possibly go wrong?

      1. BongoJoe

        Re: Internet of American Things

        And probably decide the interface language by your IP address.

        Gogledd Cymraeg?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Internet of American Things

      I find it funny how many of these comments seem to imply that representatives from your local police will be arriving at everyone's door and forcing you to install a Nest thermostat.

      You. Don't. Have. To. Buy. One.

      1. MonkeyScrabble

        Re: Internet of American Things

        Yeah but every home appliance or device from every manufacturer will have a chip in the near future.

        Almost everything at CES was either iRubbish or Internet of things.

        It started with Smart phones and TVs. Smart kettles and nosehair trimmers are just down the road.

        You won't be able to buy anything without one soon.

        (Where's my tinfoil hat?)

      2. Aaron 10
        Facepalm

        Re: Internet of American Things

        But what about those who already purchased one?

  6. Captain Hogwash

    Now I get it

    http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2012/03/23/google_mobile_ads_patent/

  7. MrXavia

    internet of things... sounds great, except the cloud factor...

    I would be perfectly happy with my home being fully automated, but I want the server in my home, behind my router & firewalls, with only ME being able to access it...

    As soon as you grant anyone else access, you are giving up your security....

    What if a hacker breaks into their servers and shuts down your heating, turns off all the lights for everyone, or even in the middle of the night rapidly cycling the lights until they blow!

    I don't trust public cloud for my private data, now a private cloud at home, that is what I want!

    1. Synonymous Howard

      DIY

      You can build your own home cloud yourself today, very cheaply and using open source software.

      You could start with NAS4Free (www.nas4free.org) on a HP Microserver and add on WebDAV and other software elements if required by specific apps.

  8. ItsNotMe
    Mushroom

    Much ado about nothing

    You do realize kids, that no one is forcing anyone to buy this Nest thing...don't you? Or any of the other crap that connects my home & its belongings to the Internet. There isn't a snowball's chance in Hell I would ever buy one of these...or any other device that connects the appliances in my home to the Internet. What for?

    It's bad enough that there are PFYs around the globe (and yes...the NSA also) trying to gain access to my computers...the longer they all stay the f*ck out of the rest of my life...the better.

    1. Captain Hogwash

      Re: Much ado about nothing

      And then one day something breaks beyond repair and needs to be replaced and only connected ones are made and sold. It might be a long way off but that's a plausible scenario in the future. If it comes to that I hope I'm long gone already.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Much ado about nothing

      you are very naive, if you really think that "no one's forcing you". No one was forcing mandatory seat belts (never mind their benefit for now), until they became mandatory. Likewise, no one's forcing it - at least legally YET, to install a black box in your car. But the incentives are already there (a discount). At some point the discount will outweigh the non-discounted option by 10: 1 or more. At some other point (and not in the "far away future, nosir), it will be coupled with a regulatory, i.e. legal requirement. Or, to pre-empt the usual way: they will be pre-installed, and you won't be able to remove it, which will be coupled with hefty penalties (soon to be upgraded to "criminal offense"), if you dare remove it. Likewise, this shitty thermostat and other devices. At some point in the not-too-distant future, they'll be pedaled as the best thing since the electronic meter reader (which they will push upon us too). After some pedaling, it will be proven (and if no proof exists), it will be claimed, that those thermostats are "essential" to keep the energy prices down (lol, I love this argument every time the prices are hiked up even more). And since it's essential, it will also become a legal requirement to have one. You don't want one? Sure, you won't have one forced upon you. Until the next moment, when you're found out that you have a wife. And kids. And then - bingo! - you either instal it, so that kids are not subject to unhuman changes to room temperature, or they suggest, that they might de-instal your kids (yeah, I know, it would be useful at times).

      None of it is really fanciful, and I'm not suggesting that Google have masterminded such a plan for a world domination. They just realize that if they put their fingers in many pies, they might reap benefits, sooner or later. Be it by peddling information about your habits to advertisers, or to the government. Purely for statistical purposes, of course, nothing personal. Unless legally bound, of course.

  9. jackrr

    int it soon all your home WILL belong to us????

    1. Darryl
  10. mrbofus

    "Soon ALL your HOMES are BELONG to US"

    Assuming this is a take on "All your base are belong to us" from Zero Wing, should the headline be, "Soon ALL your HOME are BELONG to US"?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How is Google not able to build this "platform" itself

    Nest hasn't built anything that Google couldn't easily replicate themselves. The only feasible reason they weren't willing to wait the year (at most) it would take them to build an identical platform themselves (using a mere 1% of that money, or $32 million, would be major overkill for this effort) is because they felt they couldn't afford to wait that year.

    That implies they believe someone else (maybe Apple, maybe companies like Honeywell getting together an industry effort) will be making a big splash in 2014 and Google had to pay through the nose to catch up. People have suggested patents, but with few products Nest can have few patents, unless they were working on something totally outside of the market they'd previously been operating in.

    Even these seem like flimsy reasoning, because people aren't going to replace their thermostats, smoke alarms, door locks, and whatnot in any large numbers no matter how cool of products someone comes out with.

    If I was a Google shareholder, I'd be pretty unhappy now. This is why shareholders want to see companies paying dividends rather than holding onto large amounts of cash. Having the cash available makes it easier to make stupid decisions like this.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: How is Google not able to build this "platform" itself

      Whilst you might be right about people not replacing stuff around their homes en-masse but how long will it be before some corporation bribes enough lawmakers to put through changes in building regs/codes so that the ONLY devices you are allowed to replace the old stuff with is this 'connected shite'?

    2. solo

      Re: How is Google not able to build this "platform" itself

      Because in spite of all the intelligence, a robot can not make it cool (Sphere speakers anyone?). So they bought the coolness.

  12. Bigpatc

    Ads on my nest dial

    Perhaps I could live with ads for sweaters and insulation contractors on my thermostat dial, but the day I see an ad for a divorce attorney, I'll know what's been going on in my house...

  13. bikeboatski

    "Google's Nest gobble: Soon ALL your HOMES are BELONG to US"

    Only happens if people WRONGLY persist in resting all their hopes and confidences on computer technology.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Get with the program, gramps.

  14. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Go

    THE NEST: THERMOSTATIC OVERLORDS!

    I, for one, welcome them!

  15. Tom 13

    Re: Imagine Google allowing anyone access to Nest’s core hardware

    Don't have to. My second real job was working for a company that had just that dream many, many years ago. They went bankrupt and for good reason. The idea sounds good until you start working through the details. Granted Google won't go bankrupt, but it isn't the utopia you think it is. Truth is, the system I worked on I'd trust more than Nest because I could have built it without the smart phone/internet access. I can easily see 4chan hacking access to the home owner systems and turning off the heat so the pipes freeze just for the LOLs. And that's before believing Google won't change the service to mine the data, or worse, get at it another way.

  16. Andus McCoatover
    Joke

    Google buys a smoke alarm company?

    Next thing they'll be patenting a snooze button for it....

  17. Charles Manning

    Please think of the children

    IoT is going to be used in a lot of interesting cases...

    "I wasn't searching for kiddy porn. It must have been my fridge. I notice it sometimes gets warm and makes wierd noises..."

  18. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    It's inevitable ....

    The Nest 9000

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