Google’s Nest subsidiary got its start with a smart thermostat, but the acquisition of Dropcam in 2014 helped it break into the burgeoning home security camera market. Nest has released a few cameras since then, but they haven’t been dramatically different than the cameras Dropcam was making. With the announcement of Nest’s new Nest Cam IQ, the company is deploying unique features and vastly improved hardware. This camera has a 4K sensor and more machine learning smarts than past devices.
The Nest Cam IQ looks much like the Nest Outdoor Cam released last year. However, this is an indoor-only device. You might expect with a 4K image sensor that the Nest Cam IQ streams in 4K, but that’s not the case. Before you get bummed, the approach to streaming actually make a great deal of sense. Streaming 4K video would use a ton of upstream bandwidth, more than most people have at home. Then there are those pesky data caps ISPs have been deploying. The Nest Cam IQ uses all those extra pixels to make it easier to see what’s happening in the frame with zooming and facial recognition.
Nest calls is new smart zooming feature Supersight. When you open the Nest app, you get a picture-in-picture view that lets you zoom in on a part of the frame while still seeing the full room. The sensor is seeing in 4K, and all those extra pixels mean your zoomed-in view (up to 12x digital zoom) is still very high-resolution. Supersight can also automatically zoom in and track movement for you. The full room is visible with a 130-degree field-of-view in 1080p as well.
Having a crisp image even when zoomed in gives the Cam IQ the ability to leverage all Google’s machine learning prowess to identify who and what is wandering through the frame. Previous Nest cameras have been able to detect a person, but it was a paid feature. The new camera does that for free. It’s the “familiar person” detection that requires a Nest Aware subscription. With this turned on, the camera can tell the difference between a family member and a stranger. Thus, you can get notifications when the kids get home or zoomed in video clips of any strangers who happen to show up in frame.
The Nest Cam IQ also introduces smart audio alerts. So, the camera can alert you if it hears certain sounds like people talking or a dog barking. Other cameras have audio triggers, but just for overall volume. This feature is also part of the Nest Aware subscription. Your $10 per month also includes more storage and additional video tools like time-lapses.
The Nest Cam IQ is available for preorder now in the US and several other countries. It’ll ship around the end of June.
Now read: How to get started with DIY home surveillance systems