Google Inc has announced that it is buying smart thermostat start-up Nest in a deal valued at USD 3.2 billion.
"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," Google chief executive Larry Page said in a press release.
"We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams."
The big-ticket buy continues a move by the California-based Internet titan into consumer electronics hardware, adding smartphone-synched thermostats to its Motorola Mobility smartphones; Nexus mobile devices, and the promise of releasing Google Glass eyewear some time this year.
"Google has the business resources, global scale and platform reach to accelerate Nest growth across hardware, software and services for the home globally," Nest co-founder and chief executive Tony Fadell.
"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."
FACTBOX: Google's forays beyond the search box
(Reuters) Google Inc announced plans to acquire smart thermostat maker Nest Labs Inc for $3.2 billion, signaling the Internet company's intention to expand into a broader array of devices and bringing valuable hardware design expertise in-house.
The Internet giant has in recent years ventured further afield from its roots in online search and advertising, and is now a heavy hitter in industries such as mobile electronics and video-streaming.
The following are some of the newer businesses Google has ventured into or dabbled in past years.
Google's Android operating system, which evolved from a company-led initiative known as the Open Handset Alliance, is now the world's most popular smartphone software and is increasingly adopted for tablets as well.
Developed in-house by software engineer Andy Rubin, the software was designed to present an alternative to then-dominant systems such as Apple Inc's iOS and the Blackberry, and spearhead Google's drive into a then nascent field of mobile advertising.
Android allowed Samsung Electronics to leapfrog Apple in global market share, enabled new entrants such as Amazon.com Inc, and helped erode Blackberry's market position. It is now installed on an estimated three-quarters of the world's smartphones.