In the world of the Internet of Things, the thought of Google entering the home security market put a smile on my face this morning when I read about the possibility of the mobile and search giant acquiring Dropcam.
When Google bought Nest, it looked like an obvious long term play on home automation. I still feel that Google should be (and probably is) making an effort to control the entire home automation platform, which should also include a home security aspect.
Video is an obvious component of home security, and Google is one of the biggest Internet video companies in the world. I'm talking about YouTube, obviously, but don't get me wrong - I just mean that Google already has the cloud infrastructure in place to store, process and intelligently analyze video. The videos would not be on YouTube, but Google would be able to leverage its existing assets.
Think about what you get in Dropcam now. Live streaming, storage, notification, night vision, zoom, etc. These are obvious features. But think about what could happen if Google got its hands on this business. Every time some kid breaks into a bunch of cars on my street in Toronto I wonder how awesome it would be if my neighbours and I all had just one wireless camera pointing out the front door capturing video 24 hours 7 days a week. Say you review the video and notice a thief coming from the west and leaving to the east after breaking into your car. What if you could feed that information into a cloud based system and Google could automatically compile a multi-camera video of an entire sequence of a thief's movement down your street (and even beyond). I'd think capturing criminals would become easier.
That's just one simple idea I've had stuck in my head for a while. But there's much more to be done and there are tons of people with a lot more smarts than me. Should it not be possible for the "Google security cloud" (just to give it a name) to know whether I'm home or not based on the location of my Google-connected devices and automatically flag a potential event at my house? What if I could set my status to "away" such that proximity sensors on my property could determine that someone was on my land and randomly turned a lamp on or off to make it look like someone is home?
A big part of security is crime prevention. The other part is about crime solving. Google has some of the best maps, mobile apps, cloud computing and video processing capabilities in the world. I'd much rather pay Google a monthly fee to monitor my home compared to any of the home security companies I've checked out in the entire history of paying for this service.
Connectedly readers: What awesome features can you envision from a potential combination of Google and Dropcam? Who else do you think they should consider buying, if anyone?