Author(s): Raghu Gopal
This week, Alphabet-owned Nest announced the Nest Cam Outdoor, a security camera intended to be used outside homes and small offices. Nest said this new product is a response to feedback from users of Nest's other Internet-connected devices.
While the Nest Cam Outdoor is a new product, it is based on the original Nest Cam Indoor that first went on sale in 2015 after Nest acquired Dropcam. The key differentiator between the indoor and outdoor models is the rugged housing for the outdoor unit, which can withstand dust, rain and snow. Although intended to be installed outside, the Cam Outdoor still needs AC power rather than a battery.
A "person alert" feature enables the camera to detect when a person rather than any other object comes into view. This is a feature that comes courtesy of Google's advanced computer vision systems.
Nest Cam Outdoor also supports a two-way audio system that lets Nest owners to talk to people approaching the house. It also offers at a wide 130-degree viewing angle and a night-vision mode. The camera can stream 1080p video to iPhone and Android handsets through the Nest app; the app ties together other Nest products such as the company's smart thermostat, indoor camera and smoke detector. Nest offers a storage cloud service: for $10 a month, homeowners can access Nest's cloud-based recording service that stores up to 30 days' worth of footage.
The Next Cam Outdoor comes as the company faces criticism that it has lost its innovative origins and released few new products. The company is making use of achievements from within the Alphabet group; the new Nest Camera exploits machine learning and artificial intelligence developed by Google. This allows the device to intelligently detect unusual activity regardless of light and weather conditions. The Nest Cam Outdoor will be available later in 2016.