@Krisi:apparently large portion of PCs are infected and many serve their hacker masters already...why would that be any different with thermostats? (or IoT in general)
Lots of PCs are inected with malware and can be remote controlled. The usual usage is DDOS attacks against target sites, and the current motives are usually political.
The other motive for hackers these days is money, and an increasing amount of hacking is aimed at getting it.
Neither applies to the IoT. And DDOS attacks are effective against single points by overwhelming them with traffic. That's not applicable to large numbers of devices, like a housing block.
And as I said, the target has to be publicly visible to do that. There's a IPv4 mapping tool out now that can scan the entire IPv4 address space. The author intends it as a security tool, to help folks catch things that shoudn't be publicly visible, and whose owners didn't realise they were.
What Nest is doing for homes has existed for a while for businesses - look at Honeywell and Johnson Controls product lines.
If I'm a bad guy and want to cause trouble, I can think of far more effective ways to do it than targeting Nest devices.
I don't share your concern at all. It would be too much work for too little gain.
There could be hundreds of reasons...first for the fun of it, "let's crank out temperature to the max in this city block"...ranging to co-rodnated attack by a rouge force on whole cities or countries causing power failures etc...apparently large portion of PCs are infected and many serve their hacker masters already...why would that be any different with thermostats? (or IoT in general)
@Krisi: do we want a hacker from some place in North Korea (or somewhere else) to hack into your thermostats and change the temperature in your home?
Why would said hacker bother?
In the old days, the hacker motivation was bragging rights - "Look what I can do!"
These days, the motivations are political and/or monetary.
I can't see a reason for J. Random Hacker to take the trouble to hack your house, even if he can.
And if Google is involved in the connectivity, you may assume he can't if Google can possibly prevent it.
This is an extension of concerns over the Internet of Things. Just because it can communicate via TCP-IP, it doesn't mean the Thing should be visible on the public net. If I have a smart house, with devices from Nest or anyone else, all taking to each other over a LAN, it will be a seperate sub-net, hidden behind my router, and not visible to the outside world.
I'm baffled at the number of people who are baffled by this acquisition and the price paid. This will likely prove to be a very smart move by Google, and not just because of some popular, connected & cool looking thermostats.
It is a bit different than an iPhone. Before the iPhone, most of us were struggling with a lot of frustration to access the Internet from our phone using very slow and difficult to use interfaces. I haven't heard of anyone having frustrations with their thermostats.
The talking/gesture controlled smoke alarm looks pretty cool, though. I think it can message you if the alarm goes off. I would consider getting one of those.
Still--$3 billion? Maybe they have some interesting products in the pipeline.
I am not surprised that Google is getting in to the "connected home" market. In fact I am quite glad. This makes it more likely that we will see something good and useful and resonably priced in the near future.
Having said that, I can't belive the price of acquisition. Nest Labs are worth maybe a tenth of what Google paid, optimistically. This sounds a like a sucker deal to me.
I'm just saying - they are moving units and people like them, so don't just write them off as expensive thermostats. I also like my programmable thermostat, and since I work from home, there is not yet a compelling enough reason for me to switch.
My point is that a lot of people laughed at the iPhone, thinking it was way overpriced, and they would never garner more than a very small percentage of market share. But when something is designed well, it catches on. A big difference I see is that most people don't have programmable thermostats. This one could actually save you money, and pay for itself. If I didn't already have a programmable thermostat, I would probably buy a Nest.
I think the price needs to come down, and should not be more than $150. Google has the money to make that happen, and when they price compete with regular programmable thermostats, I think the tilt will happen.
The nest has confused me since it first appeared. I keep feeling like I'm missing something. I understand that what it does, it does well. There is value in that.
However, it doesn't appear to have any magic stardust or anything. There doesn't seem to be some amazing proprietary tech or anything keeping anyone else from eating a chunk of the market at any point.
The folks at google aren't stupid (well, google wave might make you think otherwise), but I'm just confused as to why they paid so much for nest instead of investing in their own team on similar endeavors.
I am, however, looking forward to nest equipped big-dog robots.