Google’s new patent is full of ideas for smart home gadgets


Published February 24, 2015


Nest and Dropcam are just the beginning for Google’s entrance into the smart home, according to a patent filed in September 2014 called “Security Scoring in a Smart-Sensored Home.”

Published yesterday, the patent deals with connected devices that “communicate with each other and/or with a central server or a cloud-computing system to provide any of a variety of useful home security objectives.” It’s not surprising, given that Nest and its “Works with Nest” developer program recently made the smart thermostat and smoke-and-CO2-detectors play with August smart locksPhilips Hue light bulbs, and Withings sleep system. But the patent shows Google is planning on doing more than operating in conjunction with third-party smart devices: It just may start cranking out its own.

There are a few drawings and mentions of smart products Google doesn’t yet make, including smart plugs, wall switches, nightlights, and connected doorbells and doorknobs. Then there’s a smart alarm clock that wakes you up earlier when the roads will be icy or an accident is tying up traffic. But it goes beyond just connecting everything in your home; Google wants to tie the community together, too. A burglary three houses down would cause your lights to flick on and your smart lock to engage.

These smart locks and knobs can make life more convenient, too. According to the patent, “when a ‘familiar’ person approaches the door, the smart doorbell 106 ‘asks’ the person if he is ‘John Doe,’ to which the person can verbally or physically respond.” Should everything check out, the door could unlock for him.

Late last year, security company ADT told Forbes it was “working feverishly” to secure a partnership with Nest. The company had no comment then, and Google didn’t respond today when Venture Beat reached out about the latest patent.