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Google's Nest Acquires Video Monitoring Company

Chris McMahon
Insurance Experts' Forum, June 23, 2014

Nest, the home automation company that offers smart thermostats and home alarm systems, has acquired Dropcam, makers of a cloud-based Wi-Fi video monitoring service, for $550 million in cash last week, according Nest. Google acquired Nest back in January for more than $3 billion.

According to the Dropcam website, the company offers mobile and web apps that enable users to view live streaming video, turn cameras on and off based on where you are and at specific times of the day or week; make the video public; and save it to the cloud. 

See also: 5 Reasons Insurers Should Keep Tabs on Google

“Like Nest customer data, Dropcam will come under Nest’s privacy policy, which explains that data won’t be shared with anyone (including Google) without a customer’s permission,” said Matt Rogers, founder and head of engineering at Nest on the company’s blog. “Nest has a paid-for business model and ads are not part of our strategy. In acquiring Dropcam, we’ll apply that same policy to Dropcam too.”

See also: Internet of Things Reshapes Security Requirements 

“Dropcam built their company from the ground up with the goal of helping people stay connected to the things they care about,” Rogers said. “In a matter of a few short years, their team has managed to create products that change how people interact with their homes. So naturally, we couldn’t help but feel our companies would be a good match.”

This growing combination of real-time data collection from remote sources, wireless connectivity and analytics could affect virtually every aspect of insurance, though neither company has said so yet. Access to the sensors inside a home could offer a wealth of data, and vastly improve and increase the number of opportunities for risk mitigation. And partnerships between home alarm companies and homeowners’ insurers are increasingly common.

Chris McMahon is a senior editor for Insurance Networking News.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Chris by using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He also can be reached at chris.mcmahon@sourcemedia.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

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