Nest’s new indoor camera has built-in face detection and can follow a person around a room. Here’s all you need to know about the Nest Cam IQ, including its price and UK release date.
As useful as security cameras are, many of them use plain motion detection, which can cause them to send a flood of irrelevant notifications.
Nest wants to change that with its Nest Cam IQ, building a security camera with the intelligence to detect the difference between friend or foe, and the image quality to make intruders clearly recognisable.
At its heart sits a 4K image sensor with built-in HDR. Although the camera only saves a 1080p stream, this downsampled video should be higher quality than rival cameras with a 1080p sensor only. In a demonstration, the video stream we saw was certainly impressive, picking up far more detail than a rival cameras’.
As 4K has four times the number of pixels as Full HD, that means that there’s a real four-times zoom built-in, too. In total Nest offers a 12x digital zoom. The demonstration we saw was impressive, with an intruder’s face extremely clear and easy to make out when zoomed into. This is far better than the digital zooms offered by cameras with 1080p sensors.
Night vision is built-in, with with the camera using 940nm LEDs to light a room. These LEDs should prove to give better coverage, and they’re less visible to the human eye, so you shouldn’t be able to see them when they’re turned on.
Inside the Nest Cam IQ is a six-core processor, giving the camera its intelligence. Out-of-the-box, the camera can track an intruder, using the camera’s Supersight technology.
This shows you a Full HD image following an intruder around the room (a 1080p window moving around the 4K sensor gives this ability), with a thumbnail whole-room view.
At any time you can make the thumbnail full-screen to view as normal. Effectively, the camera is transmitting dual 1080p video streams at this point. For this kind of bandwidth, the built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi is certainly required.
The Nest Cam IQ can now spot a person in-camera, sending a Person alert. With the Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam Outdoor, this option required a Nest Aware subscription. Nest Aware still gets you additional features, on top of the 10-day or 30-day video storage.
Most interesting is the Familiar face alerts. Using Google’s face detection technology, which powers Google Photos, the Nest Cam IQ can spot the difference between different people. This is something we’ve seen already with the Netatmo Welcome. In some ways, Netatmo’s camera is more mature, only sending alerts for specific people.
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Even smarter, using IFTTT, the Welcome can trigger different actions depending on which person was detected. At the moment, the Nest Cam IQ only tell you that someone familiar has been spotted. However, given that this feature uses the cloud, we imagine that it will get smarter and more customisable over time.
Intelligent audio alerts are another new Nest Aware feature, although one that will also be available to Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam Outdoor customers. This option can now recognise people speaking, and dogs barking and warn you of either. With three built-in microphones and on-board processing, the Nest Cam IQ should provide clearer audio for the cloud detection process to work on.
As with the existing models, the Nest Cam IQ has a speaker built-in, so you can communicate with anyone in your home. As well as for scaring off would-be thieves, Nest is promising the feature will let you have proper chats with anyone in your house; a proper video or audio call would seem more natural in most cases, though.
Nest has developed a new stand for the IQ, giving 180-degree swivel and 160-degree tilt without needing any support. It has a tripod mount in the base so that you can wall mount with a standard adaptor (not supplied).
The downside of all of this new technology is the price: £299.
In comparison, the Nest Cam Indoor is just £159, as is the Netatmo Welcome. We’ll have to wait until we get our review sample to see if the Cam IQ’s premium is worth it. For those that can’t hold on, the camera is available for pre-order now and ships at the end of June.
Will you cough up for a Nest Cam IQ, or are there more affordable alternatives? Let us know in the comments below.