Google’s Nest outrage shows world isn’t ready for the IoT

Nest Labs, the connected devices startup by ex-Apple Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, has been a rather successful story hasn’t it? And today, it’s been acquired by Google for the sum of $3 Billion.

Yet instead of being happy for the three year old firm; the internet isoutraged. Comments like “I just tore mine off of the wall. Thanks for nothing, Google” are currently circulating social media… so why are people so vexed?

For most, it appears to be privacy concerns. Clearly people aren’t trusting of Google, and after the NSA revelations they are perfectly entitled to be wary of any company – yet we’re still speaking about this idealistic world where all our devices are automated.

Well I’m sorry to be blunt, but if you want this world you’re going to have to give up some privacy. And quite frankly, there’s probably little that Google doesn’t know about you already – at least they have a dedicated page to check and delete all the info they hold.

On a small scale, it’s feasible to use products by a single manufacturer such as Nest Labs. Moving beyond this to create an Android-like “open” platform for devices to work autonomously with each other in an idealistic fashion from various manufacturers, you need a web giant like Google.

“Google will help us fully realise our vision of the conscious home and allow us to change the world faster than we ever could if we continued to go it alone,” Fadell wrote in a blog post today. “We’ve had great momentum, but this is a rocket ship.”

At least with Google, the mission is to grow the Internet and get as many people using it as possible; this is where they earn their bucks, why products from the company are cross-platform, and why they are so successful.

Without this kind of “tracking” all the cool functions just don’t happen. ‘Google Now’ is one of the best innovations I’ve witnessed in recent history and that’s because it tracks me and makes my life easier by offering information at the time I want it.

If Google can track my mobile to see when I’ve left the house to switch my Nest thermostat off, and switch it back on when I’m heading back from work… take my privacy. I’ll even pay you. Alert me when an unrecognised face enters my house? Do that as well. Open the fridge and offer a beer if a friend enters my house? Fine, go ahead Google.

Are we supposed to be blaming Google? A company which needs a play in the home automation market – alongside some experienced brains – before competitors steal the arena?

We know Apple is working on an iWatch, and tweaking Siri, ready to release connected devices for their own users. Microsoft has a specific “Home OS” they’re actively pursuing, and with the Xbox One being pushed as the centre of the home, it won’t be long before a play is made here as well.

Gilad Meiri, IoT industry expert and CEO of Neura, says: “Google has made an art out of deeply understanding how people interact with their virtual world, the Web, and in so doing has been able to monetise that understanding in wildly successful ways.”

Let’s not forget as well that Google Ventures invested in the company from the beginning.

Are you outraged about Google’s acquisition of Nest Labs?

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