Aiming to raise the ante on security technology inside the connected home, Nest Labs has announced Nest Cam IQ, a security camera with 4K video recording capability and enhanced intelligence features. Engineered around a cup-shaped polycarbonate shell that echoes much of the design of Nest Cam Outdoor, the new camera brings a host of intriguing features to smart-home owners, but will come at a relatively high cost: Nest Cam IQ will retail for $299 in the U.S. when it starts shipping to customers around the end of June 2017, a 50% premium to the Nest Cam Outdoor and Nest Cam Indoor products, which will remain as siblings in the Nest line and cost $199.
And while the new camera has a 4K image sensor, the feed from the ubiquitous Nest app will be in enhanced 1080P resolution only to conserve network bandwidth, though some of the signature face-recognition technology and zoom-in features of the product will take advantage of the 4K data to present higher-definition imagery.
Nest says they have reengineered this camera from the ground up with entirely new hardware and software to go inside that expresso-cup-sized white shell, and then added a weighted stand that looks on paper to be more stable than the one on the Nest Cam Indoor.
Much of the new tech here is around what Nest has dubbed Supersight, where the 4K sensor, wide 130-degree field of view, and high dynamic range (HDR) image processing are employed to enhance the video stream delivered through the Nest app. In tandem with the company’s Person Alerts feature, the embedded technology can zero in on a person entering the scene, deliver a close-up view, and then follow the person across the room—while at the same time retaining a full 130-degree view of the entire space.
As with other Nest cams, to reap the benefits of some high-end features in the design a subscription to the Nest Aware service will be required, which begins at about $10 per month. That’s the case with the new Familiar Face Alerts feature in Nest Cam IQ, which can differentiate between known family members and strangers, then go a step further to identify family members by name.
As we did with our in-depth review of Nest Cam Outdoor, we are looking forward to bringing a production-level Nest Cam IQ into our Digitized.House smart-home labs for thorough testing. Stay tuned for more.
Tom Kolnowski is the Chief Content Officer & Founder of Digitized House Media, LLC, the publisher of Digitized House | Guide to the Connected Home. When he isn’t writing about smart home technology, sustainability, and high-performance architecture, you’ll find him exploring faraway destinations with his family.