Google buys Nest for £1.9bn to put apps in your home appliances

Google is spending £1.9bn to snap up Nest, a company that connects your home to the Internet.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
2 min read

Not content with running most of your life online, Google is planning to take charge of your house too. The search giant is spending £1.9bn to snap up Nest, a home automation company that connects your home to the Internet.

"They’re already delivering amazing products you can buy right now -- thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe," says Google boss Larry Page in a statement announcing the $3.bn acquisition. Suggesting that we'll see more household devices talking to our phones in Blighty, Page adds "We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries."

Nest Labs is at the forefront of the burgeoning trend for the Internet of things, which involves sticking sensors in the stuff round your house and networking them up so you can control and monitor them with an app even when you're out of the house.

It goes beyond being able to flash your living room lights while you're in the pub, with Nest's thermostat designed to make your house greener and easier on the old energy bills by more efficiently managing what's going on in your house.

One example of the way Nest makes your home smarter is the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, which cuts out false alarms by starting with a spoken warning that you can silence with a wave of your hand.

For more Web-connected, app-controlled household items, check out our previews, photos and videos from techstravaganza CES where new gadgets are shown off, from a bed that tracks your sleep to connected washing machines, fridges and light bulbs. For more on home automation check out this CNET panel with clever folks from Nest, GE, Belkin, and Philips discussing the world of smart ovens, refrigerators, thermostats, and everything in between.

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