Nest’s New Camera Can Tell the Difference Between Intruders and Your Kids

May 31, 2017

Nest Labs, the maker of smart home devices, unveiled a new indoor security camera on Wednesday that can identify people and animals in the home so that it can alert users to their presence.

For example, parents can request an automatic alert on their phones when their child comes home from school. The camera can also track home repair workmen in a room so users can see see what they're doing remotely.

The camera, Nest Cam IQ, uses artificial-intelligence to tell the difference between family guests and intruders, and not bother owners with false alarms.

The camera adds to Nest's existing portfolio of products that includes a smart thermostat that automatically adjusts a home's temperature based on a user's heating and cooling patterns, a smoke alarm, and security cameras that can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Nest Labs is owned by Google's parent company, Alphabet (googl), which acquired the business in 2014 for $3.2 billion. Since joining Alphabet, Nest has been criticized by some industry pundits and analysts for being slow to innovate and update its products.

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And while the Nest Cam IQ is a sizable step up from the company's existing smart cameras, competitors like the Canary Flex and Icontrol Networks Piper NV sell rival devices with similar features.

Users of Nest Cam IQ can store the video the device collects by subscribing to Nest Aware, a cloud-based service that starts at $10 monthly. The subscription service also comes with video clips, so users can see just the action in their recordings, as well as time-lapse videos to quickly see what happened over a period in time.

Additionally, Nest Cam IQ owners who subscribe to Nest Aware get access to Familiar Face Alerts that automatically identifies peoples' faces and tags them by name through the live alerts. Nest Aware subscribers can also get audio alerts that tell them when their dog barks or someone is talking in the room.

In terms of hardware specifications, Nest's new camera comes with a 4K camera sensor and 12x digital zoom. It also has built-in speakers and three microphones for audio communication between users and people being filmed.

The Nest Cam IQ is available now for pre-order through Nest's website. Cameras cost $299, or $498 for two.

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