Nest is emerging from hibernation.
The company unveiled a new wireless video camera on Wednesday, its first new product in roughly a year.
The Nest Cam IQ is a new, pricier model of the company’s existing WiFi camera rather than the brand new product many people have been waiting for.
Still, it’s an important proof of life from the smart home appliance pioneer, which has struggled to find its footing as a subsidiary of Google-parent company Alphabet.
The new Nest home security camera packs improved hardware (including a 4K image sensor and better mic and speaker) and is armed with facial recognition software to tell you who enters your home.
You can preorder it now for $US299 or get a two-pack for $US498. It will ship later in June.
Here are some other things the new Nest Cam can do:
- The 4K sensor takes a clearer image so you can use the 12x digital zoom to view faces of people in your home. However, it does not stream video at 4K quality.
- There’s a brand-new design. Nest says this is the first camera it designed from the ground up since acquiring Dropcam in 2014.
- The camera can track people as they walk around the room.
- The microphone can tell the difference between people talking or pets making noise (like a dog barking), so you can customise alerts.
- Night vision.
- 130-degree field of view.
- Signing up for the Nest Aware subscription service gives you 10-day or 30-day video archives. Plans start at $US10 per month. (This is available for other Nest Cam owners too.)
Why it matters
While the Nest Cam IQ is technically a new product, it’s not the new category some have been hoping for from the company. Since Google bought Nest for $US3.2 billion in 2014, the company has stuck with its small portfolio of smart smoke alarms, thermostats, and connected cameras.
Over the past year, there has been talk that Nest wanted to break into other categories like a “hub” for controlling your smart appliances and other security products, but many of those projects have either been stalled or killed, sources previously told Business Insider.
Still, the buzz at the Google I/O conference two weeks ago was that after a bumpy 2016 when Nest lost its cofounder and CEO Tony Fadell, sales are growing as products launch in new countries and other channels in the US.