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Nest Labs revamps its entire product line: Goodbye Dropcam, hello Nest Cam

Michael Brown | June 19, 2015
Nest Labs launched two products today: its first security camera, a slimmed-down version of the popular Dropcam Pro called the Nest Cam, and a second-generation Nest Protect smoke and carbon-monoxide detector. The company also announced a software update for its Nest Learning Thermostat that adds at least one new feature: notifications when temperatures in the home drop low enough to freeze pipes. And for the first time, consumers who have all three devices in their homes will be able to access each device from a single app.

Nest Labs launched two products today: its first security camera, a slimmed-down version of the popular Dropcam Pro called the Nest Cam, and a second-generation Nest Protect smoke and carbon-monoxide detector. The company also announced a software update for its Nest Learning Thermostat that adds at least one new feature: notifications when temperatures in the home drop low enough to freeze pipes. And for the first time, consumers who have all three devices in their homes will be able to access each device from a single app.

Like the highly rated Dropcam Pro it replaces (Nest acquired Dropcam in a $555 million deal in 2014), the Nest Cam records video at 30 frames per second in 1080p resolution, and it delivers the same wide-angle 130-degree field of view. Sound and motion sensors built into the camera will trigger the camera to record clips that are uploaded to the cloud. According to a Nest press release, the Nest Cam provides better night vision than the original thanks to new infrared LEDs and algorithms that can discern the difference between a flashlight and sunlight, so the camera won't become confused and switch to day mode when a bright light passes in front of the camera.

If you have a Nest Protect and a Nest Cam in the same room, a camera button will appear on your phone if you receive a smoke or CO alert. Touch the button and you'll be able to see what's going on in your home. The camera will also record a clip of what triggered the alert, even if you don't subscribe to the new Nest Aware cloud service. This feature will also be available with the older Dropcam and Dropcam Pro cameras.

Buyers who do sign up for Nest Aware (subscriptions cost either $10 per month for 10 days of storage, or $30 per month for 30 days) will also benefit from more powerful cloud-based motion analysis; they'll be able to create activity zones within the camera's field of view, so that alerts are generated only when motion is detected in that area (such as a door); and they'll be able to edit, save, and share up to three hours of video clips.

Improved Nest Protect

The new Nest Protect is significantly smaller and features a new sensor that Nest says does a better job of differentiating between dangerous levels of smoke and the harmless smoke that results from, say, overzealous cooking in the kitchen or that wafts in from the barbecue on the patio. And when the detector does report a false alarm, you'll be able to silence it with an app on your smartphone or tablet (the first-generation Nest Protect was recalled because its "wave" feature could prevent the alarm from going off in the event of a real fire). The redesign also includes a new smoke chamber that's designed to address another common complaint about the first-gen product: dust and insect incursions.

 

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