Nest is getting serious about securing your home. At an event in San Francisco today (Sept. 20), the company introduced a trio of products, including a new video doorbell and a home alarm, along with an outdoor version of the facial-recognition-equipped Nest Cam it rolled out earlier this year.
Nest Secure, a $499 home alarm system, leads the parade of products introduced today (Sept. 20). But Nest also unveiled the $349 Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, which brings the face recognition features introduced with this year's indoor Nest Cam IQ to outdoor home security cameras. Nest Cam IQ Outdoor and Nest Secure are available for preorder today. They'll ship in November.
They'll be followed in the first quarter of 2018 by Nest Hello, which marks Nest's entry into the video doorbell business. Nest has yet to set a price for Nest Hello.
Nest isn't exactly a stranger to smart home security, thanks to its Nest Cam and its 2014 purchase of Dropcam. But Nest sees this trio of products fitting right into its portfolio of smart home products while giving users better control over the security of their home.
"One thing that really impresses me about Nest is that we take these simple home products and reimagine every part of it," Nest CEO Marwan Fawaz said at a San Francisco press event unveiling the Nest Secure, Nest Hello and Nest Cam IQ Outdoor. "Reimagining these products has allowed us to transform what they mean to people and disrupt entire industries."
Here's a closer look at what you can expect from all three of Nest's new home security products.
Easily the most elaborate product introduced by Nest, Nest Secure actually uses three different components to secure your home. The Nest Guard circular base unit looks like a smart home speaker that's been cut by a third. It features a keypad for arming and disarming your home alarm.
There's also a panic button on the back of the Nest Guard, and let me tell you, having heard the alarm when someone pressed it in Nest's demo area, it is good and loud.
Nest Guard connects wirelessly to Nest Detect, a compact sensor you attach to either a window or door. The 3.2-inch sensor also features a nearby magnet; open the door or window, and a magnetometer in the Detect is triggered, sounding the alarm. In a particularly handy feature, there's a button you can press on the Nest Detect that disarms the sensor so you can open the door without bothering everyone in the house with an alarm; the sensor rearms when the door is shut.
The final piece of the puzzle is Nest Tag, which attaches to your keyring. It allows you to tag in and out of the house for those times you don't want to fiddle with the keypad on the Nest Guard. Nest executives stress that the 1.46-inch circular Nest Tag is pretty durable, capable of surviving a trip through the washing machine if you forget to remove it from your pocket.
In addition to the keypad on the Nest Guard and the Nest Tag, there's a third way to arm and disarm the system — an app on your phone. The app will even send you a reminder to remotely set the alarm when you leave the house. The app's also where you'll get security alerts whenever the alarm goes off.
Nest executives say they designed the Nest Secure system with the people who live in a home in mind as much as the burglars trying to break in. That approach is readily apparent in a feature that allows you to set how much time you have to leave the house before the alarm is set. The Nest Guard will give you an audio alert too, telling you how much time you have to get out.
While the Nest Guard plugs into a wall, it also features a rechargeable onboard backup battery that gives you 12 hours if the power ever gets knocked out. The Nest Detect runs on a CR12A battery that promises two years of battery life. Backup cellular connectivity for those times your home Internet is down can be added for a $5-a-month fee. Nest also plans to partner with MONI Smart Security for 24/7 monitoring, though that service won't be available for a few months.
The Nest Secure starter kit includes a Nest Guard, two Nest Detects and two Nest Tags. You can buy additional detects for $59 each, while tags cost $25. Nest plans to offer a $598 bundle through Best Buy that includes both a Nest Secure kit and a Nest Cam Outdoor.
Nest is working with Yale to produce a smartlock that will work with the Nest Secure system. Look for that to arrive early next year.
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
If Nest Secure feels like a fairly complex combination of sensors and base units, Nest Cam IQ Outdoor does exactly what it says on the label. It's a new version of the Nest Cam IQ introduced earlier this year, only built for outdoor use.
The outdoor camera boasts an IP66 weather rating and Nest says it's tamper resistant, too. Its speaker is 15 times more powerful than the one on the indoor version of the Nest Cam IQ, good for making yourself heard when you want someone to identify themselves.
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor promises a 130-degree view shot in 1080p video. The camera a 4K sensor and 12x digital zoom-and-enhance. A close-up tracking feature lets you zoom in on anyone who appears on camera while a picture-in-picture view gives you a look at the wider shot. The outdoor camera also offers night vision via 850nm infrared LEDs for those hours of the day when the lights are out.
The marquee feature of Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is its ability to recognize the difference between people and pets. Nest says the artificial intelligence on the camera can identify people from up to 50 people away. As with the indoor version of Nest Cam IQ, if you want the Familiar Faces feature to identify friends and potential foes, you'll need to buy a $10-per-month Nest Aware subscription.
Nest's new video doorbell won't arrive until next year. When it does, the Nest Hello will verge a video doorbell with some of the features you'd expect from a Nest Cam.
Instead of the fisheye view you'd get from some doorbell cameras, Nest Hello combines a 160-degree field of view with a 4:3 aspect ratio. That gives you not only a wide-angle view of the area around your front door, but a top-to-bottom view that lets you see the entire person approaching your door. It's also a handy view for spotting packages.
Nest says the camera has HDR imaging for a clear picture, and there's a night vision feature, too.
The camera doesn't just kick on when someone rings a doorbell. Motion sensors capture the image of anyone who approaches your door, and you're sent an alert on your phone. As with Nest Cam IQ, you can subscribe to Nest Aware to use the Familiar Faces feature and get continuous video storage. Out of the box, Nest Hello will capture three hours of snapshots from your front door and provide free person alerts.
Nest Hello features HD Talk & Listen so you can speak to whoever's outside. For those times when you're otherwise engaged, the Nest Hello app has a quick response feature, which plays a voice message. Nest touts that capability as a quick way to handle package deliveries without having to come to the door.
A more clever addition to the app is a nap time feature that silences the door chime while still sending notifications to the phone. It sounds like a handy way not to be interrupted by a doorbell. We plan to find out just how handy once we have a chance to test Nest Hello ourselves.
Image Credits: Philip Michaels/Tom's Guide