Google paying $3.2bn for Nest, whose app-powered thermostats are in a few hundred thousand homes, encourages us to go on building Fon, which is in 12.4 million homes and growing fast (Google is an investor in Fon). WiFi is an essential part of home automation, shop automation and office automation. More and more unexpected objects are WiFi-enabled, things such as cameras, light bulbs, door locks, electrical outlets, presence sensors, thermometers, humidity sensors, baby monitors, and of course thermostats and fire alarms. All of those objects, as well as the new Fon routers, are all app driven, smartphone controlled. While most entrepreneurs work on apps themselves, I like to work on app driven things. This exit makes me happy for the founders of Nest as well as for Alex Hawkinson and SmartThings (I am an investor) which aims not so much to make individual home automation products but to be the platform that integrates them all together nicely and puts them in the palm of your hand nicely via your Smartphone.
(Photo credit: TechCrunch)
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars