SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — When our Internet-connected gadgets and home appliances all learn to talk to each other, Google wants to be at the center of the conversation.
This imagined future is still a few years away, but Google is already preparing with its $3.2 billion acquisition of high-tech thermostat and smoke-detector maker Nest Labs.
The surprise deal announced earlier this week will provide Google Inc. with more tools to build a valuable hub for homes. It's a world of network-tethered toasters and tea kettles, or a so-called "Internet of Things," that is destined to reshape society, experts say, in the same way that smartphones have done in the seven years since Apple Inc. unveiled the iPhone.
The research firm Gartner Inc. expects more than 26 billion objects to be connected to the Internet by 2020, a figure that doesn't include personal computers, smartphones or tablets. That would be a nearly 30-fold increase from roughly 900 million Internet-connected things in 2009.
Google established itself as an instrumental player in smartphones with the 2008 release of Android, a free operating system that runs on more mobile devices than any other piece of software. Now, the company is gearing up for the advent of the smart home with the help of Nest Labs, a 300-employee company started in Palo Alto, Calif. less than four years ago. Tony Fadell, Nest's founder, is an Apple veteran who helped design the iPod and the iPhone.
Indian police say Danish tourist was gang-raped near New Delhi shopping area
NEW DELHI (AP) — A Danish tourist was gang-raped near a popular shopping area in New Delhi after she stopped to ask for directions, police said Wednesday, the latest case to focus attention on the scourge of violence against women in India.
The 51-year-old woman also was robbed and beaten in the attack, which happened Tuesday afternoon or early evening near Connaught Place, police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said. The woman had lost her way and was trying to get back to her hotel, he said.