GOOGLE HAS SPLASHED OUT $555m on webcam surveillance company Dropcam.
Google's Nest subsidiary bought the 2009 startup, adding it to the firm's "smart home" acquisitions that started with Nest, designer of smart thermostats, which Google bought at the start of the year of $3.2bn.
Dropcam was set up to provide home and small business video surveillance systems that don't require much knowledge of networking. It takes a simple plug-and-play approach and offers aggressive pricing to make it enticing to home users as well as businesses, but can also be configured for webcast streaming.
Both companies demonstrate Google's desire to become a player in the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) market, ranging from wearables to a whole smart lifestyle.
Dropcam co-founder Greg Duffy told readers of the company blog, "Nest and Dropcam are kindred spirits. Both were born out of frustration with outdated, complicated products that do the opposite of making life better. After numerous conversations with Nest Founders Tony and Matt, it was clear that we shared a similar vision.
"Nest cares as much about customers, privacy and product experiences as we do. Our products and technologies are a natural fit and by joining up with Nest we can fully realize our vision."
As well as home automation, Google's portfolio includes wearables, with the first fruits of its Android Wear line expected to appear at Google I/O later this week, as well as the continuing Google Glass Explorer programme.
Nest, which launched its smart thermostat in the UK earlier this year, recently had to recall hundreds of thousands of smoke alarms after it was found that the default setting meant they could potentially trigger emergency services by triggering alarms over burnt toast. µ