Google has acquired Nest, and makes a larger play in the home automation space.
With home automation and the "Internet of things (IOT)" all the buzz at this year's CES conference in Las Vegas, Google is obviously positioning themselves for the revenue opportunities set to come from home automation.
Also, outside of "don't be evil", Google's overall ART OF WAR business strategy is to protect its overall core products like search engine marketing by distracting competitors and getting involved in their space. We've seen this countless times over the last eight years with Google's foray into video, display, mobile operating systems, office suites, to name a few.
Moving via acquisition in this space is a great way for cashed up Google. They moved in a similar fashion when acquiring WIMM watches last year to jump into the wearables space. A measly 3 billion for Nest will allow them to take Nest's products and eventually compete with industry leaders such as ADT and their "pulse" product. ADTs Pulse will allow you to control many aspects of your home including unlocking doors and thermostats, all from a remote location.
Google brings data aggregation, a full view of the consumer, and rapid R&D to the space. This could also raise a future privacy concern. Google, who already knows all your movements based on Maps, all your interests based on YouTube and Google Plus, and all your conversations base on Android and Gmail, will now complete the loop with the missing piece - "the physical world". By having fully integrated cloud connected versions of Nests thermostats, smoke alarms etc in your home, as well as the "wearables" like Google Glasses and WIMM Watches attached to you when you move - they will know your movements, feelings, actions, intentions, interests and motivations - all in real time. This is a massive opportunity for marketing dollars, especially when you consider the shift towards real time programatic buying seen in the last 2 years.