Google has reportedly ben interested in Dropcam as an acquisition target, according to a new report by The Information today. The supposed purchase would help Google with its aim of getting into the home security market, and would be tied to Google’s Nest division, which seems to be turning into Google’s smart home and consumer Internet of Things play.
The Information’s report is light on details, saying only that Google has “considered” acquired Dropcam, and that it isn’t clear if there have been any talks between Google and the company or what the status of those talks may be. Dropcam makes connected home security video cameras, with two-way audio functions, remote monitoring, and cloud-based subscription video recording and storage capabilities. The startup has raised almost $50 million in its five-year history, and its camera hardware is a popular seller at Amazon, the Apple Store and more.
Nest building home security hardware would make a lot of sense, given that it first tackled home climate control then moved into fire detection and prevention with its smoke detector (which was recently recalled). A connected security system is a logical next step in terms of home automation options, given that the home security market in the U.S. is estimated to be around a $15 billion business annually. It’d be interesting to see the company go outside rather than develop its own product (as the hardware design and development capabilities at Nest were part of what drove the acquisition) but Dropcam has a successful, well-liked product already in market so that’s quite a shortcut.
The most interesting upshot of all of this could be to see Google and Apple become close-knit partners once again. It sounds like Google is focused on building out a hardware network of smart home devices, while Apple is reportedly set to unveil a software platform to undergird the same. This could mean the two become thick as thieves again in the future, especially if Google takes the logical, platform agnostic approach (while also supporting Android as an IoT OS) and Apple continues to play nice with third-party hardware (it hasn’t ejected Nest from its store yet, for instance). The two recently agreed to cease their patent war in terms of upcoming smartphone devices, so maybe there is indeed a warming of the previously cooled relationship.