Nest’s Cam IQ is as intelligent as it is expensive

Nest’s smart home line of gadgets have always been a favorite among users of late. It was when the company had acquired Dropcam in 2014 that the company was able to enter the market with the breadth of its home monitoring cameras. While the offering was decent, the software could have used some improvement. Now, Nest returns with the Nest Cam IQ, which upgrades the tech inside and will also cost a pretty penny for those interested enough.

The Nest Cam IQ is similar to the Nest Cam Outdoor in terms of design and looks. Build-wise, the camera has a polycarbonate shell along with a hinge that allows users to orient the lens to their liking. There is also an LED notification ring around the camera’s eye, similar to the Amazon Echo. The light glows green when anyone views the live stream and flashes blue when the viewer starts talking. The camera has received a major upgrade in terms of optics, which new features a new 8MP sensor that can capture 4K HDR video along a 130-degree field of view.

Although the 4K compatibility is present, it won’t use that for regular recordings of the environment, but rather for when the camera detects something unusual happening. For everything else, the camera records in FHD. When the Nest Cam does find something unusual happening, it will notify the user through the app and implement a feature known as “Supersight” which allows the user to receive a picture-in-picture inset to look for anyone in the frame. The camera will also provide a close-up and provide the user with access to the live video feed.

The camera follows a person and tries to identify them through certain markings and details. The camera makes sure to capture the face of the person and keep it focused, making it easier for the user to identify or provide as evidence to the police for tracking, should it be a robber. The camera also provides alerts to users on faces or detection of persons in the house.

Nest adds extra features to the camera if the user opts for the Nest Aware subscription that provides facial recognition and notify users of familiar and unfamiliar faces. With the subscription, users will also get access to 10-days or 30-days of video instead of the 3-hours of video that is only made available without a subscription. The Nest IQ is one of the more expensive offerings of the company and the device alone, without the subscription, costs $299, with additional subscription costs at around the $8 a month mark.

The camera will also be compatible with integration to Google Home and Alexa which will allow for users to save clips and cast those clips to the TV through commands. The camera will also be used to transmit messages from the user through the speaker, but only as a walkie-talkie. There will be an update in the future to allow for a more persistent loud-speaker experience.