Google buying Nest, the original connected home startup, for $3.2 billion in cash

Google is spending $3.2 billion to buy former Apple engineer Tony Fadell’s Nest Labs.

The company behind the Nest Learning Thermostat and, more recently, the Nest Protect Smoke Detector, has been acclaimed in recent years as one of the first companies to introduce consumers to the idea of a connected home. The Nest Learning Thermostat is WiFi-connected and smartphone-enabled, and learns over time a home owners’ preferences to adjust the temperature — and power savings — to lower energy costs. It officially supports Android and iOS.

Google confirmed the purchase on its site today, with CEO Larry Page saying, “Nest’s founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family. They’re already delivering amazing products you can buy right now–thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe. We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams!”

According to the press release, Nest will continue to operate independently for the time being, “with its own distinct brand identity,” and Tony Fadell will stay on as CEO.

Google was previously rumoured to be working on a connected thermostat of its own, but it appears that the company was merely attempting to work Nest into its existing infrastructure.