Smart homes might be the next big thing for Google, especially after their attempt to enter the smart phone industry failed. On Wednesday, Google’s CEO, Larry Page, announced the companies plans to sell Motorolla to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. He conveniently forgot to mention that Motorolla was purchased for close to $12.5 billion in 2012, when Google thought they could enter the smart phone market.
Page acknowledged in his report that the handset competition is too crowded these days. With the success of Apple’s iPhone and iPad series, as well as the growing crowded Android market, Motorolla phones barely stood a chance. But Google is not giving up just yet when it comes to hardware. Though Page was unwillingly to speculate on what might be next, recent purchases have analysts predicting a future in smart homes for the search engine mammoth.
If you are not yet familiar with the phrase “the internet of things”, it is probably time to learn. The vision behind the iToT is to find a way to catalogue and connect real world things, and maybe even people, into one network. South Korea has been experimenting with this for years, even to the point of making an entire smart city.
Google has recently purchased robotics company Boston Dynamics and the “Nest” home thermostat system. These moves suggest that when CEO Larry Page writes, “but the smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all-in when it comes to making mobile devices,” he means to say Google is all in on trying to be the first to bring smart homes to the general public. Google has shown the necessary vision and boldness to venture into future technologies by signaling the beginning of wearable devices. Google glass has received mix reviews and usage, but it certainly has created the forum for discussion on how wearable technology can work.
Google’s entrance into the hardware market has been fairly unsuccessful up until now. So why are they interested in competing in an almost untested market like smart homes? Page writes, “the dynamics and maturity of the wearable and home markets, for example, are very different from that of the mobile industry.” While the handset market may be overcrowded, smart homes are relatively untouched. Certain apps for handset devices have helped bring some interesting new ideas to the table, but no one has cornered the market. Could Google be making moves to poise themselves as the leader in smart homes?