Nest is getting into the business of home security. As the rumors foretold, the Google-owned company on Wednesday officially unveiled a new camera that’s essentially a prettier Dropcam Pro. Not that that’s a bad thing, given Nest actually purchased Dropcam last summer for half a billion dollars.
The Nest Cam is a dead-simple video monitoring system that allows users to keep an eye on their home. Just connect the Nest Cam to Wi-Fi, download the Nest app for iOS or Android, and that’s it—you’ll know exactly what’s going on at your home at all times. Like other video monitoring systems, Nest Cam will alert you when there’s movement or sound. If a notification does come pinging in, you can open the app and see what the Nest Came sees in real-time.
The device can be mounted on the wall or set on a table; or, thanks to a magnet in the Cam’s base, it can even be stuck to something like a refrigerator. As far as home monitoring cameras go, the Nest Cam’s design doesn’t look all that bad. It has a slimmer neck than any Dropcam currently being offered, but otherwise it looks pretty similar to something you’d find in Dropcam’s lineup. And that means it has similar capabilities, as mentioned above.
In addition to being able to stream live video, Nest Cam will record in 1080p at 30fps, and sports a wide-angle lens for a 130 degree field of view. It can also see in the dark with the help of 8 infrared LEDS, so you’ll be able to monitor a baby while they sleep. You can even talk to people through the Nest Cam (hopefully not an intruder).
While the Nest Cam offers free live streaming, there’s an optional Nest Aware service that will allow users to save recorded footage. And, in a nice bit of product harmony, the Nest Cam will automatically turn on when the Nest Protect senses smoke or carbon monoxide. It’s kind of a bummer you’ll need separate hardware to get those benefits, but it gives you a pretty solid reason to pick up a Protect, which retails for $99.
For small apartments and homes, a single Nest Cam might be enough, though if you need more coverage, you can link multiple together so you can monitor every nook and cranny. Depending on how many you need, things could get expensive, though it might be worth it to protect your humble abode.
The Nest Cam can be pre-ordered now for $199, and should be available as early as next week.