What Google's acquisition of Nest means for the Internet of Things

One of the buzzwords of the year is of course the “Internet of Things” and in recent news Google has announced its acquisition of Nest, a provider of web-controlled thermostats.

On the podcast to discuss the significance of this is Gilad Meiri, CEO of Neura. He recently released a whitepaper entitled “The Internet of Things – Where is the Inflection point” Gilad believes that this latest acquisition is an indication that big players in the industry are all ready to jump onto the Internet of Things bandwagon and release it's potential.

His words come with a warning however as you'll hear him inferring that Google’s move to acquire Nest is more about data gathering than anything else and that we should all be concerned about how this data is to be used in the future.

He finished by giving us an insight into Neura, a company also creating "Internet of Things" products and explains how their offerings fit into the current marketplace.

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Transcript

One of the Buzzwords of this year and I am sure of last year as well gut we are talking about it going into 2014 as one of the big stories to watch and it is the internet of things and joining me on the telephone today is the C.O of Nura Jilab Muri. Hello Jilab welcome to the podcast.

Hello it is a pleasure to be here.

We will talk about your white paper in just a second which is called The Internet of Things where’s the inflection point but this week we heard the news that Google has acquired Nest so talk us through this acquisition and why it is interesting to those watching the internet of things and how it is developing?

Right it is definitely a graduating step of phase for this space, so what Nest does essentially - not only being a thermostat - it is an eye on people’s world and regardless whether people are using IOS, Microsoft, etc etc and so Google acquired with the Nest thermostat the ability to place an eye in every consumer’s home and so gathering pieces of information which was rare.

But in a sense it was because they did not have access to them before and they have access to everything we do, but the internet of things promises a new type of information pertaining to the real world interaction that we have physical world interaction.

It was evident that Google did not buy a thermostat for $3 billion, they bought the old map for the Smarthub devices and typically with this they bought the eye in the sky, eye in the wall.

Do you think this is an indication that big players in the technology industry like Google are now taking the ideas around the internet of things much more seriously than perhaps they have done up until this point?

I think people of very much exposed to Apple, Microsoft, IBM. etc have all set their move in the first year or even two years and for us in the States it is evident that all of these big players are realizing the vast attention and it is right that Google is one of the more popular first movers but Apple just deployed it’s ibeacons in department stores and with 200 engineers that have been working for a year and half on something called Ojoin . These companies are definitely putting their money into the space.

You have kind of inferred talking about Google’s acquisition of Nest there that this is probably more about gaining data and an insight into their users lives than actually just buying a thermostat or an internet of things solution and is this something that users and consumers should be worried about do you think?

I think generally with the internet of things are not only interaction in the world but many of the people who work from home and start communicating to the cloud. I think there is no escape from more risk into the privacy of our life and by the way the authorities are struggling with this question now.

With Nest now you have Google in your home so that is somewhat unfair, I would say, but I think it is too early for these organisations to mark out the data and so they are going to try and get it and you either see reaction for these types like paypal solutions where a commercial entity attacks the privacy of users when sharing data with third parties.

Now of course you have just released a white paper called “Internet of Things: Where’s the Inflection Point”. Tell us a little bit about the kind of abstract behind this white paper and what led you to write it?

It is a very ambiguous thing and it means a lot if things and actually. It marks a new term that used to be called “machine to machine interaction” and it has been around since the 60’s but now with the Smartphone and the availability of being able to sell these very cheaply it is gaining more and more popularity.

So when you say IOT what does that mean? It is only a connected device - what type of connected device etc. So what I did and for the business as well I segmented the consumer side of It and projected how it was going to evolve and in that white paper I looked at three segments the Smart home and the world wide devices and the automotive and I analysed these segments independently and so what the market shows for each of these segments is how these will evolve.

Do you think the internet of Things is going to be something that is going to become just an accepted part of the way technology interacts with our lives or is it a buzzword or a fad or can you see things going in a different direction? What do you think the future holds for us with the Internet of Things?

I wouldn’t be cautious by saying I think it is going to be as revolutionary as the introduction of the Smartphone, as the fact that various devices are going to be communicating and be programmable and are going to drastically change our lives and impact areas like healthcare, safety and security and even education and in a decade we are going to have extreme difference in the way of our lives.

Well of course you can read the full white paper on the description part of this podcast and it will appear there if you wish to read that in more detail. Just tell us a little bit about what is happening at Nura and what you guys are up to there?

It is the intelligence for the internet of things and today and in a sense a connected device takes the switch away from the device the on/off switch and puts it on the phone and so if you have smart light bulb essentially what you do instead of pressing the wall you press on your phone to turn the switch on and off.

To really bring smartness to release from programmable you need to allow the light bulb as an example to think you are there even when no one else is in the room etc etc and be lit and this is value to the smart device and this is what Nura does it applies intelligence to connect the devices and gives them the intelligence to be smart.