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Nest launches Nest Cam home monitoring smart camera

Tom Morgan
17 Jun 2015
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1080p video recording with audio for Nest's first security camera, following its purchase of Dropcam

Nest, the smart home company behind the Nest thermostat and Nest Protect intelligent smoke alarm, has finally revealed the first product to result from its buyout of IP camera creators Dropcam. The Nest Cam is a smart video camera that can record Full HD video complete with audio, then send it to the cloud and straight to your smartphone.

In other words, Nest Cam is a reimagining of the Dropcam Pro. It's a bulbous 1080p, 30fps IP camera, with a 130-degree field of view and infrared night vision. A built-in stand lets you angle the lens or rotate the camera for the best view, only now it includes a magnet in the base for sticking on your fridge, and a standard tripod thread mount for the option to mount it practically anywhere. The built-in microphone lets you hear what's happening as well as see.

Companion apps available for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets let you access your video history, with algorithms picking out the clips you're most likely to want to check. You can zoom into your clips with an 8x digital zoom, and use the Clear Zoom feature to sharpen images once you've zoomed in to pick out details that would otherwise be illegible on other, lower resolution IP cameras.

The software has been built on the back of Dropcam's existing service, now updated and rebranded Nest Aware. This is a paid-for service which lets you save either 10 or 30 days of video online, based on your subscription, and quickly save or share clips with others. That's an improvement over the 7-day limit with Dropcam. It also lets you set advanced motion sensing and activity zones to limit which areas of a camera image are being tracked at any given time. Nest is keeping the pricing structure identical to Dropcam's old service, with the first camera costing $10/£8 a month and 30 day backups costing $30/£24 per month.

Nest Cam integrates with Nest's existing smartphone app, which itself has recieved a major update to coincide with the launch. The interface has been simplified, with access to all your Nest products on the main page and a simple, uncluttered UI for each Protect, Cam and smart thermostat. Even better for Dropcam customers, their old cameras work perfectly with the new app.

Nest also announced updates to its smart thermostat, with automatic fan shutoff and safety temperature alert notifications comign to both 1st and 2nd generation thermostats as a free update. That update has beun rolling out now, with customers expected to get it over the next few weeks.

The camera itself is set to cost $199 in the US, and is expected to go on sale in the UK for £159 in July.

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