Nest's new outdoor camera is smarter at spotting people

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Nest's newest smart device works outdoors and complements its indoor camera

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Nest has added to its smart thermostat, smart smoke alarm, and smart security camera with a new Internet of Things device intended to live outside the home. The Nest Cam Outdoor is weather proof, operates around the clock, and brings with it smarter software for spotting people when they come into view.

That 24/7 monitoring needs a cabled power supply rather than batteries, so you're going to need to work out a way to connect the Nest Cam Outdoor to the mains (there's 7.5 meters of cable to work with), but the outside part of the installation is made easier with a magnetic base that the camera just snaps into.

Nest says the camera is IP65 rated, so you can't drop it into a pond and expect it to survive, but it should be able to last through rain and snow storms. The camera offers a 130-degree field of view for keeping watch on your garden or drive, and records in 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution. Eight infrared LEDs handle night vision duties.

Talking and listening functions are built-in, too, so you can chat with the postman or listen to the pitch of a door-to-door salesman without leaving your chair.

At the same time, Nest is upgrading its Nest Aware service, the cloud subscription plan available as an optional extra if you buy one of the company's indoor or outdoor cameras. While the free Nest app lets you tune into a camera at any time and get basic motion and sound alerts, Nest Aware (starting at US$10/month) enables you to also look back through several days of recorded footage saved to the cloud, and set up "zones" in the camera's field of view.

If you do decide to subscribe to Nest Aware, you'll be able to take advantage of the new Person Alerts feature. Nest says it uses advanced, cloud-based algorithms (presumably borrowed from parent company Alphabet/Google) to more accurately tell the difference between actual people and everything else (like dogs or a cars).

Nest is also promoting the outdoor camera's integration with other smart home kit, so you can (for instance) tell your Philips or Lifx lights to turn on if someone climbs over the fence.

The Nest app for mobile devices is getting an upgrade too, with a new Spaces feature for better managing multiple Nest products by room, private livestream links (to share with family and housemates), auto-bandwidth management and high resolution (1080p) viewing for current Dropcam Pro customers.

Nest's new camera is available to pre-order now for $199 in the US and Canada, and it's coming to the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland later in the year. The Person Alerts feature is scheduled to arrive in September.

Product page: Nest Cam Outdoor

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