- Google's Nest has agreed to buy home security and monitoring firm Dropcam for $555 million.
- Currently, Dropcam makes smart, wifi-enabled home monitoring systems that include motion sensors and cameras to track room-to-room movement. The systems, which cost about $200 to buy, have a $10-30 per month cloud service to store past usage data online.
- Nest's smart thermostats include one motion sensor to allow the thermostat to get a better idea of when people are home so it can learn the user's habits.
With the Dropcam acquisition, Nest takes its next leap forward into the world of connected home management technology. Dropcam's motion sensors and cameras can give Nest real-time data on where in a home a user spends most of their time, allowing the company to better track habits. The tool could help Nest improve on their personalized energy management service.
A new study by consulting firm Accenture found that more than half of all Americans are already owners or are looking to purchase a piece of smart technology for their homes within the next five years. But the products must meet the customers' top priorities: saving money on energy bills and increasing home comfort.
Interestingly, the report also found that more than half of those who said they would be interested in owning an energy management product were also interested in getting the device from their electricity provider, not necessarily a third party. Accenture was surprised and encouraged to see “that customers still prefer their energy provider for new energy products and services, such as solar panels and connected-home solutions, over and above new industry entrants," said lead author Greg Guthridge.
However, he said, customers will still need to rely on third-party providers and services regardless of whether they go through the utility or not. "[Utilities] lack regulatory support, scale and core competencies that are critical for success. This dynamic will invite new non-traditional competitors and cross-industry convergence," he said.