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5 awesome gifts for smart-home enthusiasts

Michael Brown | Nov. 24, 2015
Armed with this gift guide, you can transform an ordinary house into a smart and secure home for the modern age.

No connected home should go without the protection that a home security can provide. After evaluating six of the latest models, we found that the $199 Nest Cam delivers the best combination of features, video quality, and easy installation.

Video resolution of 1080p at 30 frames per second tops the list of features, along with terrific night vision thanks to the presence of eight infrared LEDs encircling the lens. And the camera’s 130-degree field of view ensures that you can see everything in the room. And when you catch your pets tearing up the couch cushions, two-way audio lets you put the fear of God into them (who else but a god can not only catch you in the act but yell at you out of thin air?)

The camera’s motion sensors will record a video clip and send a push notification to your smartphone if someone is moving around the house when it should be empty. It will do the same in response to loud noises, such as a window breaking or a door being kicked in. Buy into the Nest ecosystem with a Nest Learning Thermostat and a Nest Protect smoke and carbon-monoxide detector, and all three devices will work in concert. A smoke emergency will trigger the camera to record a video clip, for instance. And when you leave the house and the Nest thermostat switches to Away mode, it can trigger the Nest Cam to begin recording until you return home.


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