Nest’s $229 Video Doorbell is a Useful Addition to its Ecosystem
“Nest’s $229 Video Doorbell is a Useful Addition to its Ecosystem” : Last September, Nest introduced several products to its connected home programming: the Nest Secure home security system, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, and the Nest Hello video doorbell. While both Secure and IQ outdoor cam have been out for a few months, Hello has not yet hit the market. That is, until now. Today, Hello and the previously announced Nest x Yale Lock are officially available for $ 229 and $ 249 respectively. Oh, and Nest is introducing something new today too: the Nest Temperature Sensor.
As its name suggests, the temperature sensor works in conjunction with Nest Thermostat (and Nest Thermostat E) to allow you to control the temperature in individual rooms. So if you set one in the room, for example, you can set the Nest app to have it so the room is colder or hotter than the rest of the house. The price of a single unit is $ 39 or $ 99 for a pack of three. You can pre-order from today, and it will start to be marketed next month.
Image source – engadget
As part of the above announcement, Nest recently gave us a demonstration of some of its connected home products to guide us through some of the new features. We’ve seen a lot of that at the Nest event last year, but it was good to see how it all comes together. Of course, you can definitely buy these products individually and they will work well alone. But the beauty of the Nest ecosystem is when everything works together.
In our demo, Nest showed us a series of hypothetical home scenarios where your connected home system would be useful. For example, if someone is at the door, the Nest Hello video bell would immediately recognize that there is someone there. If you are a subscriber to Nest Aware, you would not only receive a notification on your phone that there is a person at the door, but the facial recognition feature would also take effect. Basically, once the same person arrives at your door enough, you can train familiar Face Alerts from the Nest to identify him, perhaps as his mother or his neighbor John. We attempted an underlying adaptation of this component with the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, yet it was bad at the time. Ideally the most recent rendition is better.
If you have a Google Assistant enabled device in your home – say a Google Home Mini or maybe the new Nest Indoor IQ Cam – these will also give you notifications from Nest Hello. They will say “Someone at the Door” or, if you have one a signature of Nest Aware, also the name of that person (for example, “John’s at the door”).
Image source – engadget
From there, you can check who your visitor is by looking at the Nest app. The interesting thing about the Hello camera is that it has a 4: 3 vertical aspect ratio, so you can see the person from head to toe. In our demo, we were quite impressed with the quality of the HD, and enjoyed being able to slide the camera left and right to see what else was out there. It should be noted here that Hello needs to be plugged into your home’s electrical system, while the Smart Ring bell only needs a rechargeable battery. This can be good or bad, depending on how you see it – hardwired means you will never run out of power, but it also means that Hello is much harder to install.
A Nest spokesperson told me that Hello also has a “quiet time” mode which is basically a Do Not Disturb function for your buzzer, which is good for the baby to take a nap. You’ll still receive push notifications on your phone, but that’s it.
And if you want to leave John and you have the Nest x Yale Lock installed, you can simply unlock the port directly in the application. And, if your home has Nest Secure security installed, Yale Lock unlocking will also disarm the alarm.
Speaking about Nest Secure, Nest product marketing director Maxime Veron said Nest has added some new features to the home security system since last year’s launch. On the one hand, Nest Secure now has an “instant alarm”. Previously, Nest Secure would give you a 30-second delay when you enable it, to allow enough time to leave the house without clearing the alarm. But, based on customer feedback, you can now simply turn it on immediately, which offers more peace of mind, especially when arming your home before going to bed.
Image source – engadget
Next is the ability to arm your Nest Secure just by using the Google Assistant. So you can say “Ok Google, set the Nest Secure to Away”, and this will automatically enable Nest Secure, giving you 30 seconds to leave the house before the alarm is set. And, yes, if you have the Nest x Yale Lock, you can automatically lock the house a few seconds later. In the demo we had, it happened a lot more than I wanted – about a minute or so – but according to Veron, that can always be adjusted. Oh, and if you have a Nest Cam, you can activate it automatically when you leave the house.
We should mention here that Nest told us that you can only use Google Assistant to protect Nest Secure and not disarm it. Which is good, because you do not want any strangers to invade the house just by giving you a voice command.
Also, it’s worth noting how different the Nest Cam IQ Indoor is with the new Google Assistant integration, which we did not get a chance to test before. In our demo, this new feature almost turns you into a pseudo Google Home gadget – you can answer basic Google queries like “What is the weather?” and “How high is the Eiffel Tower?” The only thing Google Home cannot do is a continuous audio playback, such as playing music or podcasts. But if you do not mind this, then getting a Indoor Cam IQ Indoor is like getting a webcam and a Google Home on a device, which is pretty cool.
Image source – engadget
Going back to new features of Nest Secure, another new one is that now you can get it so that the hub touches whenever certain doors open, such as when you enter a store and ring a bell. To keep up with this, Nest has also added a “Quiet Open” option where you can press a button that will disarm the door only for the first time – if it is early in the morning, for example – and then I will return after leaving.
“We started this mission six years ago with the thermostat,” Veron said. “But we now have 12 products in the catalog and we sell more than 11 million products. [We believe] Nest is synonymous with the smart home.”
That said, the Nest is still a lag in the industry; definitely not the first to create a wireless security system, and Nest Hello is obviously a response to the popular Ring bell. And now that Amazon has bought Ring and has its own Cloud Cam security camera too, it is clear that Nest will have a lot of competition in the future.
It is also important to mention that Nest products tend to be on the expensive side. While Hello will sell for $ 229, you can get the Ring for about $ 134 on Amazon. The Amazon Cloud Cam is also only $ 120, while the regular Nest Cam Indoor is $ 200 (the IQ version is about $ 100 more). You have to pay at least $ 5 a month to get any kind of video filing with Nest Aware (if you do not pay anything, all you get are still snapshots in the last 3 hours), while the Cloud video files Amazon camcorders are free for the last 24 hours.
Still, Nest is betting heavily on their dream home connected. This could certainly be the reason why Google recently decided to join their hardware teams, which would bring a great deal of Google-oriented AI to the Nest group. And with the smart previews imbuing google such as Lenovo and LG, it’s easy to see how Nest products would incorporate all that and more.
“Nest’s $229 Video Doorbell is a Useful Addition to its Ecosystem” : Veron himself has given a hint that this is still early in the marriage in the Nest and Google. “You’ll see more integration of Nest and Google next year,” he teased. With rivals nipping at your heels and the Amazon apparently cutting Nest products off your site, you’ll probably need as much support as possible.