Nest Labs Launches Home Surveillance Camera
Security cameras for the home are becoming common with many people wishing to keep an eye on the state of their house when they are away from it. Many large technology companies have developed their own versions of home security cameras which can range from low tech to expensive and feature-packed. Nest is hoping that the technology contained within the camera will help to justify its price tag, which is higher than many other cameras. The technologies include 1080p HD video and an accompanying app that helps users record and process video and images.
The company had previously released a smoke alarm to go along with its home thermostat and improvements have been made to these including a new app which can control them. Google bought the Californian company in 2014 for around $2.75 billion dollars, and this has been the biggest update to its products since them. A few months after buying Nest, Google purchased a security camera maker called Dropcam for $517 million which it hoped would be able to help Nest create more thoughtful home gadgets.
Google has come a long way since the launch of its search engine, and it is now hoping to plant its technology into homes through products and appliances that connect to the internet. Nest plays a key role in helping Google expand its business into the home. As well as creating products, Google is also building a smart operating system named Brillo which will allow all connected home devices to communicate and speak with each other. Apple’s HomeKit is a similar operating system and has been available to developers for a while, so Brillo is set to compete with this already-released rival.
For Nests products, smartphones are the remote control for all of the appliances that are connected to the internet. Users can also receive notifications from the connected products to find out what’s occurring in the house through their smartphone. Nest is headed by ex Apple engineer and iPod designer Tony Fadell, and he has said “We have changed the conversation of the connected home”, bringing the idea ever closer when it once seemed like a futuristic vision. However, there are concerns from homeowners about privacy when it comes to the thought of their home gadgets being connected to the internet and knowing how and when they’re being used, maybe even predicting their routines.
With regards to the new home surveillance camera, Dropcam has changed its name to Nest Cam as a signifier of an upgrade which includes HD video, improved night vision recording through updated infrared technology, a new design and a magnetic stand that allows the camera to be placed onto refrigerators. At first the camera will be available to the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium and France.
Nest will also start to offer a monthly subscription service, storing up to 10 days of video as well as allowing users to receive alerts about any unusual activity in their homes along with creating a sequence of up to three hours of video that will interest homeowners the most.
The update to Nest’s smoke detector will include a longer lifespan that takes it from seven to 10 years, as well as upgraded smoke detection sensors. Tests will be performed automatically by the device each month to ensure that the horn and speaker are functioning correctly. The original version of the alarm used an automated voice as an alert before an alarm was sounded and this won’t be changed for the updated version. The newest version will cost $199.
The smoke alarm will be promoted in the US in collaboration with two insurers- Liberty Mutual and American Family. Customers of these two companies will receive a 5% discount if they allow the insurers to view data from the smoke detector each month. Google may introduce these discounts to other countries as time progresses.
The smart home thermostat introduced in 2011 is Nest’s original product and the company is offering a free software update for the device. Among other things, the update will give the thermostat the ability to turn a furnace off if the smoke detector senses high levels of carbon.