The Internet is ablaze with what the acquisition of smart thermostat and smoke alarm maker, Nest, will mean for the connectiveness of our homes and the "internet of things."  

As indicated in a previous post,  smart thermostats are said to be increasing at a rapid pace which can only be increased by anything that Google's labs can add to  Nest.   Relative to intellectual property, Nest labs has 42 granted patents (http://goo.gl/0ncsUA) covering various aspects of a thermostat including the display, user interface, controller technologies, and sensors among others.  For the larger smart thermostat industry in general,  about 90 patents relative to thermostats have been granted so far in 2013 (see http://goo.gl/QO1XNK).  Nest's stated mission is to  reinvent “unloved but important” devices in the home. Adding Nest Labs' research to Google's large portfolio (over 400 in 2014 to subsidiary Motorola alone, http://goo.gl/si44C1) and that little dial on you wall, and maybe your toaster, will be changing a lot in the next few years.