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Google invites Dropcam into the Nest for easy-to-use home security

Google's Nest Labs is snapping up Wi-Fi camera start-up Dropcam in order to add security surveillance to its line of smart home gadgets.

Dropcam specializes in making easy-to-use cameras that wirelessly connect to your router without the need for a computer, as well as the software that streams the live video to your devices.

Its cloud-based live video service can be accessed by computers, iOS and Android devices, though Dropcam does charge a fee for 7- and 14-day storage if you want to rewind.

These Wi-Fi cameras join Nest Labs' smart thermostat and smoke and CO2 detector as a way to innovate the home for the smartphone generation.

Privacy fears switcheroo

Today's Dropcam deal, worth $555 million (about £326m, AU$591m) according to Recode, is being spearheaded by Google-owned Nest, outside of Google's purview.

That's because Google's role in video surveillance is likely to raise the ire of privacy advocates who fear the search engine giant potentially having spy cameras in homes.

"Like Nest customer data, Dropcam will come under Nest's privacy policy," wrote Nest Founder Matt Rogers in a blog post when today's deal closed.

"[It] explains that data won't be shared with anyone (including Google) without a customer's permission. Nest has a paid-for business model and ads are not part of our strategy."

Google intervention or not, expect to hear more about Nest at Google IO 2014 on June 25.

Matt Swider

US Editor-in-Chief

Matt Swider is TechRadar's gadget-savvy, globe-trotting US Editor-in-Chief who leads the US team in New York City. He began his tech journalism career all the way back in 1999 at the age of 14, and first started writing for TechRadar in 2012. He's tested over 1,000 phones, tablets and wearables and commands a Twitter account of 777,000+ followers. Matt received his journalism degree from Penn State University and is never seen without his TechRadar headphones.