The Google empire is extending its reach into the heart of people's homes with its acquisition of Nest, a maker of Internet-connected fire alarms and thermostats. Google, which coughed up $3.2 billion in cash for the start-up, says Nest will continue to operate independently, though co-founder Matt Rogers will move to Google, the Verge reports. Google had already invested tens of millions in the firm, whose products include a smart thermostat that adjusts itself after monitoring your behavioral patterns.
The acquisition sparked plenty of jokes about Google Ads on smoke alarms, Wired notes, but Nest promises that customer information will only be used to improve services. The buy looks like a good deal for both sides, adds the New York Times: Nest's founders—Apple veterans who were already rich—gain the corporate muscle needed to expand their business, and Google gains plenty of engineers with hardware expertise, along with a way to learn more about human interaction with connected devices. (Read more Google stories.)