Google adds camera surveillance to Nest – amid a flurry of acquisitions

By Graeme Burton
23 Jun 2014 View Comments

Google is adding camera surveillance to its Nest digital home monitoring unit with the $555m acquisition of Dropcam, a home security technology start-up.

Dropcam makes in-home cameras that can be monitored over the internet via a smartphone app. The company will no doubt look to bundle the two together.

Further reading

At the same time, Google has also added two smaller purchases - terms not disclosed - of mDialog and wireless start-up Alpental Technologies. MDialog will add video services to its DoubleClick online advertising platform, "offering more ways for publishers to monetize live, linear and on-demand video content across all screens", claimed Google in a statement on Google+.

It continued: "While nothing's changing for their customers immediately, over time we'll work with the mDialog team to incorporate their technology and expertise into our DoubleClick product suite. This represents the latest of our ongoing investments in helping brands connect with high-quality video content, like Google Partner Select, our new marketplace for premium programmatic video."

Alpental, meanwhile, is developing next-generation, "5G" wireless technology, although Google has refused to be drawn on the terms of the acquisition and the company's website has already been taken down. Alpental last raised $850,000 in 2012, according to regulatory filings.

Alpental was founded by refugees from 4G Wimax internet company Clearwire, Michael Hart and Pete Gelbman. Clearwire was acquired by US mobile operator Sprint. The company was focusing on the 60GHz band, which would enable connectivity over up to one mile at speeds of up to 7Gbps.

The idea of 5G technology is that a wireless device can take data signals from multiple sources at the same time, greatly increasing bandwidth. It will also make use of "relay nodes", low power base stations, to improve both coverage and bandwidth. However, the technology and standards are currently at an immature stage and 5G will not begin rollout before the 2020s, at the earliest.

Finally, Google is considering new investments in subsea cable across the Pacific Ocean, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company would use the cable to connect its data centres in the US directly with its data centres in Asia and would probably incorporate it into its private "B4" network, according to the WSJ.

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