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Nest Cam review: a slightly pricey way to secure your home

Zach Miners | Aug. 10, 2015
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. With Nest's motion-sensing camera, that prevention will put a dent in your wallet.

Not all motion triggers alerts

Testing the camera, I received plenty of alerts to notify me of my own motion, or the motion of others, in front of the camera. But I wanted to receive alerts for other types of motion, and that didn't always work. For instance, I wanted to get alerts whenever I received mail at home, so I created an activity zone over a section of floor near the garage door, where the landlord slides my mail.

But with or without the activity zone activated, I never received a notification. I even tried sliding mail under the door myself -- no dice.

To Nest's credit, this may not be an error. Nest uses facial detection technology, because it figures people will be most concerned when there's a person in their home. So you're more likely to get motion alerts for something that looks like a human face.

Nest says the camera can filter out "unimportant" motion, like light and shadows moving across flat surfaces. The company also says its paid cloud service will let Nest better update and refine its motion detection over time.

Sometimes I was grateful not to get the motion alerts. On one windy day, I had the camera aimed at my sliding glass doors leading out to the yard. Not once was I alerted to the large tree swaying in the wind.


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