Nest Unveils new Nest Camera


Last week we saw leaked images of a Nest camera. The device looks a lot like a Dropcam camera, which, of course, is now owned by Nest. Today the Nest Cam has shown up for pre-order on Best Buy’s website for $199.99. (Update: It’s also now on Google Play.) It appears that Best Buy accidentally tweeted about the device a little early, but the page is still live on their site.

Here are the product features listed on the site:

  • View remotely with the free app
    Download the Nest app and view footage from your compatible device running iOS 8 or later, or Android 4 or later.
  • Stay informed via instant smartphone notifications
    Receive motion and sound detection notifications for peace of mind while you’re away.
  • HD recording ensures crisp, clear detail
    Vivid 1080p resolution at 30 fps (frames per second) allows you to see small details on your screen.
  • Digital audio ensures quality sound
    Built-in microphone lets you hear everything clearly.
  • Infrared night vision lets you see in the dark
    Keep an eye on things up to 20′ away when there’s little to no light.
  • See more with the 130° field of view
    Provides a wide-angle vantage point.
  • Zoom in on details
    The 8x zoom lets you focus on specific parts of your home.
  • Two-way talk
    Communicate with people and talk to pets from anywhere with the built-in microphone and speaker.
  • Customize motion and sound alerts
    Choose which areas of your home you want to monitor more closely with Activity Zones.
  • Optional cloud recording
    In addition to free live streaming, you can add cloud recording to save footage with a Nest Aware subscription (not included).
  • Connects to your Wi-Fi network
    For convenience and simple setup.
  • Wall-mounting hardware
    Allows you to easily attach the camera to a wall.
  • Works with Nest Aware subscription (not included)
    The Nest Cam will automatically turn on when the Nest Protect (sold separately) senses smoke or carbon monoxide.

By all accounts it looks like an excellent security camera. It has all the great features that Dropcam users have come to love, plus a few new goodies, and the integrations that has made Nest products so popular. We should be hearing an official announcement very soon. Are you going to buy a Nest Cam?

Google's Newest Gamble: Nest Acquisition for $3.2B


While the $12.9B anchor that is Motorola purchase is still proving to be a massive drag on it's bottom line, Google has once again made a acquisition in the hardware space, and arena that Google has had a hard time in. Monday, Google announced it was purchasing network thermostat manufacturer Nest for $3.2B. That's right, $3.2B. That is what a company pays for a poplar, up and coming social network with hundreds of millions of users, not a fledgling technology company that makes hardware that is trying to find it's place in the marketplace. But Google's acquisition of Nest buys them a lot more than the coolest devices in home automation ever. It buys them a new data stream. And if anyone can turn small data into big profit, it's Google. They are the Masters. 

What Does Google get out of buying Nest? This is a big question, and Marcus Wohlsen over at Wired identified some key gains for Google, not the least of which is product genius CEO Tony Faddell. You can check out the entirety of Wired's article HERE, but I want to focus on some other benefits to the purchase. 

First, Fadell. Nest's CEO isn't some fly by night tech guy. Tony is the man that brought the world the iPod. his proven record of bringing a product to market is impressive. As Wohlsen points out, "Fadell is an engineer with demonstrated mastery over all aspects of the hardware process, with a high-design sensibility to boot. From supply chain and components to fit and finish, Fadell has shown he can manage a product for a company with Apple’s global reach.

What’s more, Nest shows he also has the chops to bring a product to market without the support and resources of a massive multinational. He even beat Apple into the so-called “smart home” with a line of products that look and feel like what Apple might have designed if it had gotten there first.

“This allows us to concentrate on the stuff that differentiates us,” Fadell tells WIRED.

It’s almost tempting to think of Google and Nest as what might happen if Apple and the search giant had come together themselves. It’s an impression only furthered by Nest’s apparent poaching of an iPod software director to become its head of new product engineering, as first reported by The InformationThrow in Fadell’s proven record as someone who cannot only design and make tech devices but has the stage presence to sell it, and Google is buying itself near-instant — and much-needed — credibility in the world of hardware."

So Google bought more than a hardware company, they hired a master of the hardware market and his experience, and the hardware that is a labor of his love to boot. 

In addition, Google now has a solid foot in the Energy Services market. A market they have a great deal of interest in. In 2009, Google tried their hand in the market with the failed PowerMeter project. Now Google itself will play a role in managing energy efficiency programs across wide swaths of homes and even counties. And then there is all that DATA. Google now has a huge pipeline of data about people's OFFLINE lives at home to now chew on. And again, Google is a master of making data work in a myriad of ways. It will be interesting to see....

Nest Labs building a networked Smoke Detector...

Nest Labs, famous for the critically acclaimed web connected thermostat bearing the companies namesake, looks to be building a next gen smoke detector, called Protect. In keeping with the Nest philosophy for taking things to the next level, it is rumored to be packed with features, including a possible (but not likely) subscription monitoring service that would alert you if smoke or fire is detected. A source states the device could communicate with the Nest thermostat, giving it a longer battery life by eliminating the need for it to have its own battery-draining wi-fi chip. There has also been talk of the ability to silence the alarm by waving a hand in front of it and the ability to detect carbon monoxide as well. The new smoke detector would be the second device in Nest's plan to build a home network device by device.

The “connected home” gets quite a lot of buzz these days. Microsoft, Google, and Apple want to help us better connect video and audio throughout our homes. Nest, and others including Crestron, are focusing on the unsexy stuff like heating and cooling systems, shades and lights. It will be interesting to see where Nest takes us next, and I for one am excited to see if the Protect is everything we would expect from the top-notch engineers at Nest.