Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera Unveiled

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Nest takes the wraps off its consumer-grade outdoor security camera that can guard over your house when you're not home.

Nest Thursday announced the Nest Cam Outdoor, an outdoor security camera for homes and small offices. The device ties into Nest's mobile app and can send alerts when it sees people walking where they shouldn't.

The Nest Cam Outdoor is the logical next step for a company that was once known as Dropcam, which was bought by Nest in 2014. The Dropcam, now the Nest Cam Indoor, is a WiFi-enabled camera that you can set up anywhere in your house. Nest, which is owned by Google-parent company Alphabet, took that same thinking and created a weatherproof piece of hardware that home and small office owners can stick outside.

The Cam Outdoor resembles a spotlight. It is waterproof and hardened against extreme cold and heat. Nest claims the Cam Outdoor can be installed nearly anywhere. It features a magnetic plate that can attach the camera firmly to metal surfaces. (Nest suggests gutters or drain pipes.) The Cam Outdoor needs electricity and must be plugged in. It comes with a 10-foot cable and 15-foot extension cord, making for 25 feet of reach. Nest says the device is perfect for do-in-yourselfers and can be setup and configured swiftly.

The device captures 1080p HD video with a 130-degree field of view. It includes a microphone and speaker, low-light visibility, and motion detectors for tracking potential intruders. Nest claims the Cam Outdoor knows the difference between that pesky neighborhood cat that wanders through at night and a potential thief. The Cam Outdoor is also listening. The device is able to determine, for example, when a window is broken. Events like these trigger alerts.

The key to these alerts, of course, is the associated mobile app and cloud-based service.

When the Nest Cam Outdoor thinks something odd is afoot, it will alert the homeowner or small business owner. The alert may include an image, so the alert can be dismissed or acted on as needed. The Cam Outdoor can be set to send dedicated alerts when someone approaches the home's front door, or if a head appears in the frame.

Like the original Dropcam and Nest Cam Indoor, the Cam Outdoor will allow people to speak to and converse with those in view of the camera. You can tell ne'er-do-wells to take a hike before you call the police, or tell your UPS driver to leave the package on your front porch.

This is similar to the Ring video doorbell. Ring's product includes a camera that can detect motion, record events, as well as a speaker for interacting with those in view.

The Cam Outdoor is managed via the Nest mobile app, available to Android and iOS devices. The app also manages Nest's smart thermostat, indoor camera, and Protect smoke detector. For $10 per month, homeowners can subscribe to Nest's 24/7 cloud recording service. The service lets you go back and see what happened around your home for a month, as it stores up to 30 days' worth of footage.

The Nest Cam Outdoor will cost $199 when it goes on sale this fall.

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