A Venture Capitalist’s Take on the Internet of Things

photo of Nest ProtectDavid Hirsch, co-founder of Metamorphic Ventures, recently wrote for Tech Crunch, “There has been a lot of talk in the venture capital industry about automating the home and leveraging Internet-enabled devices for various functions. The first wave of this was the use of the smartphone as a remote control to manage, for instance, a thermostat. The thermostat then begins to recognize user habits and adapt to them, helping consumers save money. A lot of people took notice of this first-generation automation capability when Google bought Nest for a whopping $3.2 billion. But this purchase was never about Nest; rather, it was Google’s foray into the next phase of the Internet of Things.”

Hirsch continues, “The ability to control the temperature using Nest or to open your garage door using your smartphone falls under first-order IoT applications. The next phase will be two-fold. It will be about connecting Internet-enabled devices in the home, as well as leveraging data to improve people’s lives and the efficiency of their businesses. Google is already headed in this direction through Nest’s acquisition of Dropcam. Dropcam provides Wi-Fi-connected web cameras, trackers, and cloud-based storage. Having both Nest and Dropcam allows Google to own a whole host of data about your daily habits and adds another piece of hardware in the home that can communicate with Android devices. Using Nest and Dropcam, consumers can begin to track movements and know who is in the home at all times. Google has this data, as well. If you think about it, Google has so much data already about people, but what they didn’t have was the human data of where they are at any given moment, their habits, etc. This is the missing piece to Google’s puzzle, especially around Google Now where context is everything.”

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Image: Courtesy Nest