Disappointed by Google buying Nest?


#1

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#2

I've seen some good comments about Google and it's perception regarding this. I don't think, as a company, Google enjoys the same automatic trust that it once did. It's a useful presence, but not a friendly one.

So the perception that Google is buying it's way physically into people's homes carries some menacing overtones. And their statements about things like Glass and the recent G+ G-Mail integration have been entirely clueless. A lot of people high up in the Google echo chamber seem completely unable to grasp the idea people might not want Google interfacing with every aspect of their lives. And certainly not on an opt-out rather than an opt-in basis.

They have made statements that Nest information will be reserved strictly for use in making the Nest a better and more useful product. But based on their past and current actions, I suspect that G+ integration is the sort of thing they would define as "better" and "useful".

God help them from the backlash if they buy someone like Fitbit and suddenly announce that all that data is suddenly linked to the rest of the Google services, like it or not.


#3

Nope, because Nest isn't compatible with our heating and I couldn't afford the multiple thermostats I'd require anyway.


#4

Although it arguably makes me rather spiteful, I can't say I'm displeased... How better to remind people that hardware dependent on 'the cloud' is a dangerous game than having a company known for both sinister data-gathering and murdering well-liked products snap up a maker of expensive cloud-connected widgets?

It's three billion dollars in object lesson and I don't even have to foot the bill!


#5

Great, G+ smoke alarm -- so, now everybody will know when I burn some muffins...

Perhaps Google will subsidize your fuel bill based on the number of +1s one receives.


#6

Then there's Can We All Just Admit Google is an Evil Empire


#7

Disappointed by Google buying Nest?

I... what the hell is Nest? What the hell are any of these things that Google is buying? Do I have something that Google wants to buy for a billion dollars in the hope they can make a profit out of it through some weird horizontal integration? If so, PM me Google, let's talk!

I'm not disappointed, I'm confused, vaguely anxious and wildly optimistic.


#8

I'm not disappointed. Just more stuff not to buy. Although I bet Google will work to provide a home owners insurance premium discount if you use Nest by Google with google+.


#9

Glad that Nest isn't really set up to run the way I'd like a smart thermostat to manage my house because I have solar panels. I try to run things like air conditioning more during daytime 'on peak' hours because that's when I always have an insane number of kWh of credits and I'm always having to be careful about off-peak usage. I had been really hoping to find a home automation system that would be compatible with my solar set up and was right there ready to buy Nest when it first released. Now that I've thought about it more thoroughly, I think I'll stick to the old-style programmables.


#10

I prefer my wood-heated iron stove anyway.
And I have to note, I really love The Verge´s Design.


#11

I agree with you completely. Traveling down the rabbit hole just a little farther I see the insurance companies lobbying OSHA and State regulatory agencies for Nest or like systems into building codes. These systems would be required in new home construction and existing multiple apartment dwellings. This could allow snooping agencies directly into your private residence not only to collect the metadata but with the recent revelations on the NSA being able to listen in on even non-internet connected computers it is not much of a jump to believe that each Nest or like device could be used as a listening device. I'm really not a tinfoil hat person but this just seems to be a logical conclusion considering the NSA's insistence on collecting every Americans communication data.


#12

I think that Google is going to be very aware of the exposure they have here. If not, they will soon become aware of it.

Google has a very good record on using open standards. The participate in IETF and the other forums. And they understand that if they don't publish their APIs, someone will reverse engineer them and publish them.

I have three Nest thermostats, they work fairly well but they do have some missing features. There has to be a test mode for the HVAC people. When someone comes to fix my furnace they need to be able to put it through its paces even if turning the A/C on in winter or turning on the heat in summer makes no sense.

The problem I have with the current system is that the only choice is to have all the control happen in the cloud. I need to have local control and I want to be able to swap in my own optimization schemes that make use of readings from temperature sensors in multiple rooms and cope with the fact that there are two furnaces but three A/Cs and they all affect the whole house but in different ways.


#13

Isn't it great? I've been avid on TheVerge since inception. Design numero uno. Well, duo, after bb.net.


#14

Dammit, I hate these link-baity headlines, like the one linked to in the article: "Why is everyone disappointed by Google buying Nest?" - well, everyone ISN'T. I'm not particularly disappointed, since I don't own a Nest, and likely won't be owning one any time in the near future. They're too expensive, and my current programmable thermostat which I got free from my electric company does everything I need. And I'm sure there are plenty of other people who also don't really care about this acquisition either.


#15

Disappointed by link-baity headlines? You'll never guess how to stop seeing them!

smiley


#16

The Nest alarm is a non-starter because I see nothing about it being user serviceable when the sensors inevitably fail, as they all do within a few years. Would I be happier about pitching a $120 smart item than a $30 dumb item? I think not.


#17

I'm disappointed by the acquisition, as I just installed a Nest a little over a month ago. Had Google purchased them prior, I would not have gotten it.

I fully expect Google to plunder Nest for useful tech and engineers, holding on to the company for four or five years. They'll get what they need out of it, and then probably spin it back out on its own or sell it to another investor, but either way, it'll be a shadow of what it could've been.

Sketchup went the same way. Awesome, simple software, held on for a few years, then spun back out, and it's never been quite the same. Its mission is different now.

Or maybe they'll just shut it down when it's not a shiny new toy any more, as with Reader and Wave and countless other tools.

Google isn't a great innovator any more. They're a holding company, and a venture capital company. They have a reputation for making innovative products...and then killing them, with no replacement. I don't trust them, and my concerns have nothing to do with privacy, but everything to do with the way they treat consumers.


#18

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