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Early investor Google intends to acquire Nest Labs for US$3.2 billion

NEW YORK--Google will pay US$3.2 billion to buy Nest Labs, which develops high-tech versions of devices like thermostats and smoke detectors.

The search engine operator was an early investor in Nest Labs. It says the company's Nest Learning Thermostat has been a “consistent best-seller.”

The thermostat, which retails for US$249, is designed to learn how inhabitants like their homes to be heated and cooled. Once it learns the consumers' preferences, it automatically adjusts the temperature on its own.

The Nest Protect alarm is intended to be less annoying than traditional alarms: when it detects rising smoke or carbon monoxide levels, it lights up yellow and speaks with a human voice, giving consumers an option to turn the device off if there is no emergency. They can stop the alert by waving an arm. The Nest Protect costs US$129 while an older smoke and carbon monoxide detector could cost US$50 to US$80.

Nest Labs is based in Palo Alto, California. It was founded in 2010 by Tony Fadell, a gadget guru who helped design the iPod and original iPhone while working at Apple.

Google Inc. is based in Mountain View, California. Its shares fell US$7.20 to US$1,122.98 on Monday and rose US$6.02 to US$1,129 in aftermarket trading.

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The Nest smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is displayed at the company's offices in Palo Alto, California on Oct. 1, 2013.

(AP)

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