In the Alphabet company’s most expansive product announcement to date, Nest Labs recently unveiled a new line of home security technology designed to further entrench their footing in the connected home. The products include the Nest Secure alarm system, a plug-and-play wireless security system tailored for homeowner or certified Nest Pro installation. A $499 starter package for Nest Secure includes the Nest Guard security base, two Nest Detect motion and open/close sensors, and two Nest Tag key fobs that can be used to arm or disarm the system. Among the competitors for Nest Secure is the popular SimpliSafe wireless security system, which can be purchased in a similar starter pack beginning at $229.
Nest will also offer a 24×7 monitoring service for Nest Secure by partnering with MONI, a security systems company that also offers its own competing products. Details on the planned service and its costing have not been announced.
Also on the announcement docket was the Nest Hello video doorbell, a competitor to the class-leading video doorbells from Ring, another California-based company. The Nest variation on the video doorbell genre includes an embedded Nest cam, and can detect the presence of a person and send an alert even if the person does not ring the doorbell. Of course, for those visitors who do tap the doorbell button, an HD Talk and Listen feature enables two-way conversations. Nest Hello is expected to launch in the U.S. and Canada in the first quarter of 2018, with Europe following later in the year. Pricing has not been announced.
Lastly, Nest revealed the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, a new security camera combining many of the features of the original Nest Cam Outdoor and the recently-launched Nest Cam IQ Indoor. Addressing a potential issue with the exposed power cable on the Nest Cam Outdoor, Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is designed to be much more tamper-resistant while maintaining the weatherproof nature of its predecessor. Equipped with a higher-resolution video sensor and special onboard software, Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is designed with facial recognition smarts and can detect a person up to 50 feet away. Through the Nest app, the camera and can deliver Nest Person alerts as well as familiar face alerts when used in conjunction with the subscription-based Nest Aware service. Nest Cam IQ Outdoor will be priced at $349 when it launches in November. The product will be available in U.S., Canada, and selected Nest European markets at launch.
More than ever, the Nest app is becoming the center of the emerging Alphabet, Google, and Nest smart home. All of these new Nest products will integrate with the Nest app for installation, maintenance, and operation—and many can be connected to third-party products through the Works with Nest program. For example, a previously-announced integration program with smart door lock provider Yale—a collaboration that will lead to the first Nest + Yale Linus smart lock launch in early 2018—will spearhead a high level of connectivity across multiple products that will manifest itself through the Nest app and related alerts. Homeowners will be able to automatically disarm the Nest Secure alarm system as they open the Yale lock with the Nest smartphone app or the lock’s touchpad, and they will also be able to remotely open the Yale lock when, say, a known person or a package delivery agent is visible through the camera of the Nest Hello video doorbell.
Nest also announced integration with the Google Assistant digital assistant for its existing Nest Cam IQ Indoor, making it the first security camera with the Google Assistant built in. The new capabilities will be delivered via a software update in Winter 2017-2018, and effectively give the Nest Cam Indoor many of the voice-activated features of the Google Home voice-activated speaker, including the ability to respond to spoken commands and questions, as well as to control other smart-home accessories.
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.