Nest wants your home security camera to recognize you

Nest is adding a real-life version of that feature to its new security camera, the Nest Cam IQ.

So what makes the Cam IQ so special that it costs nearly twice the price of its rivals?

So what's so great about this Nest Cam IQ and is it worth investing in over dedicated security systems or other smart home cameras?

The model announced Wednesday has a new design based on the look of Nest's outdoor camera, which launched previous year.

There's a light ring around the front of the camera which can illuminate different colors depending on what state the camera is in. That way, you can also keep tabs on what's happening in locations where you might not have a camera.

However, if you want more information such as the name of a family member or the dog sitter then you will need to invest in a Nest Aware subscription. The camera is powered by a hexa-core Qualcomm CPU.

The base is heavy and wide, which should help the camera remain nice and steady even when you're rotating it through it's broad range of motion (180-degrees horizontally and 160 vertically). As with many Nest products, bundling will save you money - a two pack goes for $498.

Bloomberg reported details of the new camera earlier this year. Later that year, Nest bought connected camera startup Dropcam for $555 million.

Instead the feed that's backed up to the cloud and the feed you're able to see on your phone is limited to a much more reasonable 1080p.

However, having a 4K sensor is not as pointless as it sounds. The camera has HDR and supports up to 12x digital zoom. It won't try to recognize anyone that an owner hasn't tagged. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

Unfortunately this is about as clever as it gets. This means you can use the Cam IQ as a kind of family tracker, making sure the kids genuinely did come straight home rather than via the skate park. The subscription also includes uploading video footage to the cloud, so in the case of a break-in it may provide evidence that can be used by the police.

To use this feature, you will have to subscribe to Nest Aware which costs around $10 per month.

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. With two-step verification, you can select an optional extra layer of security for your Nest account, and with automatic over-the-air updates, your camera can be automatically updated against the latest threats. If the camera detects an "unfamiliar face" (and you have it set-up to record "unfamiliar faces"), it'll automatically zoom in on that person and follow them around the room, like they're starring in a slapstick burglar comedy. For this kind of bandwidth, the built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi is certainly required.

This is a security camera with all the bells and whistles, and now the question is whether this functionality will all seamlessly kick in when you need it most.

  • Arturo Norris