Google Buys Dropcam And Enters Home Security IndustryWith Google I/O quickly approaching, many are carefully watching to see what the Internet giant has in store for us in the coming years. Most prevalent in recent news is Googles acquisition of the home surveillance device, DropCam. The company, priced at $555 million, will be owned by Nest, the smart thermostat maker Google acquired in January of this year. The highly-discussed Nest purchase marked Googles entrance into the home automation market and established them as competitors among a variety of companies, most notably Apple. Since Nest came under Googles domain, theyve announced the Developer Program, an open API which will allow different devices and software to interact with the smart device. This software currently supports Nests interaction with Jawbone, Mercedes-Benz, Whirlpool, and others, allowing for a variety of new features for the thermostat. With this direction of software development, its clear that Google didnt just buy Nest in order to have stock in the utilities market. Instead, Nest represents Googles decision to begin serious work on a centralized smart home hub. Googles purchase of Dropcam is a continuation of this work, and Dropcam will be joining Nest in the developing Google Smart Home Family.
What Dropcam OffersDropcam is a small, modern security camera. While their website advertises more lighthearted functions of Dropcam, such as using the two-way talk feature to communicate with pets or children from the mobile app, theres little doubt that Dropcam is first and foremost a home security device. The gadget features high-definition video recording at 30 fps, making it a stark improvement to the dark, grainy security cam footage were used to. Dropcam also emphasizes a feature which uploads the last seven days of security footage to the cloud, making it possible to access, playback, and save this footage from any device.
Dropcam's Newest Feature: Dropcam Tabs
Why Google Bought ItDropcam was a top seller on Amazon since its debut in 2012, and was lauded by PCMag as the best consumer-grade video-surveillance camera [theyve] ever tested. Its priced at $149, with the pro version at $200, making Dropcam cheaper than most regular security camera alternatives. All setup takes is connecting the device to your homes WiFi, and controlling the device can be done either from the mobile or internet app. All in all, Dropcams successes can be explained by the phrase consumer accessible. Cheap, convenient, easy to set up, and easy to use, Dropcam CEO Greg Duffy stated that the device was born out of frustration with outdated, complicated products that do the opposite of making life better. In this way, it becomes a very clear addition to Googles slowly growing home automation family, mirroring Nests focus on streamlined accessibility. While Dropcam doesnt currently integrate with Nest in any way, Nest CEO Matt Rogers stated in a blog post that the plan is for us to work together to reinvent products that will help shape the future of the conscious home.
The Smart Home and Privacy InvasionAs great as Dropcam soundswhether youre a techie waiting for the smart home or just excited about low-priced, comprehensive securityit also makes a lot of people concerned about privacy. After all, Dropcam not only records your home, storing the data on the cloud, but its also owned by Google. If you own an Android phone, use Chrome as your default browser, or use any of Googles variety of other products, you can begin to see how Google is creeping into lots of little parts of your life. With the acquisition of Nest and Dropcam, Google has made a very clear move into peoples homes and because of this, now has the opportunity to acquire a very large amount of information about your life. Their unofficial dont be evil motto hints at the companys opinion on abusing user information, but the rise of NSA requests for user account info and the future possibility of in-home ads keeps Googles stake in home automation from being a worry-free experience.
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