Bosch To Challenge Google with Smart Household Devices

Apr 08, 2014 04:36 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma


Google may have a new contender when it comes to dominating the growing Internet of things.

Bosch, a German company that is the largest car parts maker worldwide, is looking to acquire technology for smart household devices, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. The manufacturer also produces dishwashers, washing machines and parts for medical equipment, all of which have potential for wireless connectivity.

"It's no longer a question whether networked things are coming," CEO Volkmar Denner told Bloomberg at company headquarters near Stuttgart, Germany. "It's a fact, and we want to be one of the leading players."

Bosch's door sensors that regulate room temperature and similar devices will be even more in demand as the technology sector blends with the hardware industry, Denner said.

Internet connectivity is being implemented into everything from cars to beds to smoke alarms, a trend known as the Internet of things. Research company IDC has predicted that household items with connectivity, devices that can be controlled remotely and other such gadgets will make up an $8.9 trillion market by 2020, Businessweek reported.

Experts say manufacturers are hesitant to cross the divide between standard household gadgets and smart devices, but the shift is inevitable.

"It's not a proper market yet, but it will come," Manuel Backhaus, a managing partner at the AlixPartners consulting company, told Businessweek. "Many manufacturers are still very reluctant about the concrete implementation because of possible risks to their supply chain."

Bosch is equipped to take on new acquisitions, holding a stockpile of around $17.3 billion in cash around the end of 2012.

Perhaps it can give Google a run for its money. The Mountain View, Calif-headquarted company made waves when it acquired Nest earlier this year for $3.2 billion. A maker of smart thermostats and smoke detectors, Nest will purportedly remain its own distinct brand, but the deal has brought Google a strong line of products and an A-list design team.

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