Google buys security camera maker Dropcam, merges it with Nest IoT thermostat division

Google has taken another major step in its Internet of Things (IoT) and home automation strategy by buying security camera maker Dropcam for $US555 million (approximately A$591 million).

Launched in 2009, Dropcam makes small security cameras with built-in microphones and speakers that connect to the internet over Wi-Fi and stream encrypted video and video to the cloud.

The camera owner can then use the company’s iOS, Android or web app to stream video and video from their camera, or speak through the camera’s built-in speaker, allowing for two-way communications.

The company also offers the option of recording up 30 days of continuous security video and share favourite clips with family and friends.

Dropcam is being purchased by Nest, the smart smoke detector and thermostat company Google purchased in January for $US3.2 billion.

The purchase comes ahead of the Google I/O developer conference, which runs this week from June 25 to 26.

In a statement, Nest founder and head of engineering, Matt Rodgers, said Dropcam will continue its paid-for business model, and advertising through Google is not part of its business plans.

“Eventually, the plan is for us to work together to reinvent products that will help shape the future of the conscious home and bring our shared vision to more and more people around the world,” said Rodgers.

“For now though, not much will change. Dropcam products will still be sold online and in stores. And Dropcam customers will still continue to use their Dropcam accounts,” he said.

“Once the deal closes, we’ll incorporate Dropcam into how we do business at Nest. That includes how we handle everything from customer support to customer privacy. 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.”

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