The Nest Cam IQ is basically performing a "zoom and enhance" feature ripped right out of Star Trek here, but the trick is that it's using the full power of a new 1/2.5-inch, 4K sensor whenever it detects a person that would prompt its use. This will be combined with the facial recognition technology of the camera to alert you when required as per its intelligence. For this feature, however, customers will have to subscribe to the Nest Aware service, which costs $10 per month or $100 per year.
"A powerful speaker can scare off intruders from afar", says Nest. But what's really interesting about the camera is how it handles facial recognition, something Nest's other cameras don't do.
Nest Aware also gets you activity zones and cloud-compute-powered person detection.
The company spent two years on the $299 Nest Cam IQ, collaborating with Google on algorithms that recognize familiar faces. Where the existing Nest Cam Indoor captures at 700 kbps to 1.2 Mbps, for instance, the new Nest Cam IQ captures at up to 2 Mbps.
This photo from a Nest Labs presentation compares the Nest Cam IQ's 12x digital zoom to an unnamed competitor's 2x zoom plus digital zoom. It can, for example, easily identify people and send you an alert to your device, so you know who's walking around in your home.
The camera is also clever enough to tell the difference between a person and an object, meaning that you won't be notified by a pet or robot vacuum cleaner if it creates motion in the camera's field of view (the same is true of the microphone, which can tell the difference between a dog barking and a human speaking). There's also a night vision mode provided by two infrared LEDs, which Veron proudly notes operate at a 940nm wavelength, making them nearly invisible to the human eye.
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You'll be able to view live video with or without a Nest Aware subscription, but unless you want to constantly monitor the Nest app, then you're going to need a subscription to see video. In the USA, it will set you back $299 or $498 if you get two of them.
In our brief hands-on with the device, we also noted some minutiae about the device that highlight the attention to detail that Nest clearly gave this product.
Pay for the subscription and you'll also get familiar faces alerts with the new camera, which in turn allows you to grant access to particular family members.
The Nest Cam IQ looks much like the Nest Outdoor Cam released previous year.
Nest's $10-a-month subscription includes video storage for 10 days.
Hence you can listen in on your sleeping baby, tell your partner you're on your way home, and ask burglars if they wouldn't mind awfully putting that PlayStation down and leaving the area. Nest has suffered bad publicity over shutting down the acquired Revolv hub, glitches that took down its Nest Learning Thermostat, pressure over a lack of new products, and employee turmoil that ended in the departure of CEO and co-founder Tony Fadell.