Google just announced that it will acquire Nest, the company that sells the popular and impressive connected Smart Thermostat and Protect smoke alarm devices, for $3.2 billion. With the deal, Nest founders Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers will join Google, bringing the two men who pretty much brought the iPod to life into Google's clutches.
"They’re already delivering amazing products you can buy right now–thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe," said Google CEO Larry Page in a statement. "We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams!"
Google says that Nest will continue to operate independently, and Nest says that the customer data will be kept separate from the rest of Google data mining. We've seen similar promises from other companies Google has purchased in the past, and many of them were broken. We'll see how this one pans out. The acquisition is now pending regulatory review, and will likely take a few months to close.
We've all been told not to play without food as youngsters, but no one ever said anything about the plates and cutlery, did they (maybe I wasn't paying attention)? Whatever the case, this plastic dinner set is meant to teach the little ones some very basic geometry while simultaneously getting them to keep their table setting organized, so we're featuring it in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. The rubber padding on the bottom keeps everything in place nicely, minimizing spillage.
You can pick up the Kid Puzzle Dinner Tray now from Amazon for $49.99.
Read More | Kid Puzzle Dinner Tray
If this matte stainless flatware looks familiar, that's probably because it's what Dave used when chowing down in 2001: A Space Odyssey. That makes it good enough to appear in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. It was already a classic by the time that film dropped in 1968. Designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1957, the Georg Jensen set typifies the Danish architect's smooth space-age aesthetic. Now you can get a set of your very own.
You can pick up the Georg Jensen Arne Jacobsen 5-piece Steel Cutlery Set now from Amazon for $95.
Read More | Georg Jensen Arne Jacobsen 5-piece Steel Cutlery Set
If you want a better handle on the indoor conditions of your home, peep our next 2013 Holiday Gift Guide entry, the Neatmo Urban Weather Station. So, just how much damage did you do to your family's lungs with that batch of really burnt holiday cookies? The Neatmo weather station doesn't just assess the temperature outside your home, it also measures indoor air quality, humidity, and carbon dioxide level. A mobile app lets you monitor your house remotely and get alerts when something is amiss. Knowledge is power.
You can pick up the Neatmo Urban Weather Station now from Amazon for $179.
Read More | Neatmo Weather Station
Up next in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide: the Pro-Ject Debut III Turntable. Audiophiles know that vinyl offers up a richer, more nuanced sound than those cold digital tracks (or so they say.) They also know you dont have to shell out audiophile levels of money to get a decent turntable. The Pro-Ject Debut III is outfitted with high-grade components and doesn't make your living room look like a DJ booth. Double win.
You can pick up the Pro-Ject Debut III Turntable now from Amazon for $299, a savings of 25%.
Read More | Pro-Ject Debut III Turntable
It's the holiday season, and we know that sometimes you want to relax with a warm drink. That's why we're adding the Kinto Pengy Teapot Mug to our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. It's a small teapot imported from Japan that is more than meets the eye. You see, the Kinto Pengy doesn't just make tea; you can remove the strainer and then use it as a mug. The lid becomes a handy place to hold your used tea leaves after brewing while you sit back and relax.
You can pick up the Kinto Pengy Teapot Mug now from Amazon for $43.
Read More | Kinto Pengy Teapot Mug
We love finding quirky, cool things that are worthy of being featured in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, and the Aquafarm certainly fits the bill. You get a pet and some healthy food, all at the same time. You don't even have to clean up after it! Thanks to
magic aquaponics, the plants use the fish waste as food, keeping the water clean. Impressive, right?
Read More | Aquafarm
Nest, makers of the massively popular learning thermostat, is getting into the smoke detector game with Protect. The Nest Protect is a sensor-packed smoke and carbon monoxide detector that aims to remove all the annoyances of the "modern" smoke detector, making it more helpful, more pleasing to use, and ultimately, safer. So, how does Nest aim to reach that goal?
Like the Nest Learning Thermostat, Protect is constantly connected to your Wi-Fi network. This allows you to set the device up with your iOS or Android device, and lets you use the Nest app to check things like battery life and other settings, while also receiving push notifications in the event of any emergencies. Even cooler, Nest devices can talk to each other. So, if the Protect senses a fire, it will let all the others know, and they will speak in a female voice alerting you to smoke detected in a particular room. If it senses a rise in carbon monoxide, it can let your Nest Thermostat know to switch off the heat.
Walking around in the rain under an umbrella may seem pretty romantic, but getting hit by a motor vehicle while placing your sport coat over a puddle for your lady isn't. How can you avoid such an unfortunate mishap? You can start with the Hi-Reflective Umbrella. In bright hours, it serves as a dark gray mild-mannered umbrella, but when darkness falls, you get what is essentially a blinding spotlight-esque circle that shouts out "Don't hit me!" to the motorists of the world.
Read More | Hi-Reflective Umbrella Product Page
Tiny fish tanks can be boring, but the Aquafarm serves as both a home for your fish and an herb garden that provides you with delicious, fresh plants. Even better, all you need to do is remember to feed the fish to make everything happen. You see, through aquaponics, the plants use the nutrients from the fish poop to nourish themselves and keep on growing strong. In turn, the plants keep the water clean, so you don't have to. You get five planters, and seeds to grow wheat grass, lettuce mix, and basil from Seeds of Change. All this for $59.99 from ThinkGeek.
Read More | Aquafarm Aquaponics Fish Garden