Google has bought Nest, a company which makes 'smart' thermostats, smoke detectors and CO2 monitors, for a reported $3.2 billion in cash.
The deal brings Google more deeply into the new market for internet-connected home applliances, also known as the 'Internet of Things'.
Nest said it would continue to operate as a separate brand within Google, but welcomed the company's expertise in helping its products reach a wider customer base.
"Google will help us fully realize our vision of the conscious home and allow us to change the world faster than we ever could if we continued to go it alone. We’ve had great momentum, but this is a rocket ship.
Google has the business resources, global scale and platform reach to accelerate Nest growth across hardware, software and services for the home globally. And our company visions are well aligned – we both believe in letting technology do the hard work behind the scenes so people can get on with the things that matter in life. Google is committed to helping Nest make a difference and together, we can help save more energy and keep people safe in their homes."
Nest CEO Tony Fadell was previously part of the team which created the iPod and iPhone at Apple. His first product at Nest - a smart thermostat with a distinctive (arguably 'Apple-like') design - won plaudits from around the web, though it was not available in the UK. Its more recent smoke alarm is able to detect the difference between burned cooking and a fire, and can also be checked with a smartphone.