Nest Wants Europeans to Forget It's Owned by Google
"Your personal information is not for sale, to anyone."
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Nest co-founder Matt Rogers took the stage at IFA this morning to talk up Nest products and announce sales in new European markets.
Nest was acquired by Google in February of this year for a whopping $3.2 billion. It kickstarted a wave of similar home automation startup acquisitions by other tech giants like Samsung and Microsoft, and helped bring the modern idea of the smart home into the public consciousness.
A large portion of the keynote, which ran for a brief 30 minutes, was spent detailing Nest's security and privacy policies. Given Europeans' general skepticism of Google, it makes sense that the name "Google" was never even mentioned. Rogers spent time talking about his roots at Apple with Nest co-founder Tony Fadell, but he skirted artfully around the acquisition.
While Nest products have already been on sale in the UK, Rogers used the keynote to announce that they are now coming to Belgium, France, Ireland, and the Netherlands.
"We’ve adapted our products to the way Europeans live," said Rogers. The customizations include using the voices of European mothers for the Nest Protect's alert messages, since research suggests sleeping children respond better to female voices.
Rogers also discussed how Nest uses their users' data to improve product performance. In the beginning, he claims, it took the Nest learning thermostat two hours to realize you'd left home and set itself to the energy-saving Auto-Away mode. Today, the thermostat can figure it out in just half an hour.
"At Nest, data become savings," he said, later adding that customer data is not used for advertising. This an important point for him to make, since Google's business relies almost entirely on harvesting user data to serve targeted ads. For now, at least, Nest won't be helping it out.
We'll be sitting down with Matt Rogers to talk more about Nest, Google, and its acquisition of Dropcam. Stick with Reviewed.com for everything you need to know about Nest and IFA 2014.