Smart home device OEM Nest has announced a new suite of security products, ranging from a home alarm system to a connected doorbell and an outdoor security camera that include facial and object recognition. It is also adding its voice AI Google Assistant to its existing indoor security camera. These new devices, paired with its Nest Aware subscription and offering 10 or 30 days of video history among other benefits, show the company is taking on rivals in the smart home security space by leveraging technology from its sister company Google.
Adding intelligence to smart home security
The suite of new products includes the Nest Secure security system, consisting of a central hub and motion sensors; the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor; and the Nest Hello connected doorbell. Nest Secure and the IQ Outdoor are set to ship in November 2017 and will cost $499 and $349 respectively, while the Nest Hello hasn’t had a price or release date announced yet.
Nest Secure is an answer to the full-service home security and automation offerings from the likes of ADT and Comcast, with its initial tier of $10 per month offering a cheaper alternative. However, the upfront cost is relatively high for a smart security system, and additional motion sensors or tags for the system cost $59 and $25 respectively, so a system for a larger home will quickly add up in cost. Nest has signed an agreement with Moni Smart Security to provide the professional monitoring service for Nest Secure.
Nest Hello, meanwhile, is a competitor to Ring’s connected video doorbell, which previously raised the highest funding round for a smart home OEM in February 2017. Hello and the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, along with the previously launched Nest Cam IQ Indoor, use Google’s FaceNet facial recognition technology to recognize trusted individuals. Although the full functionality will require a subscription to Nest Aware, this is a key advantage for Nest over its existing rivals, which don’t have the resources of Google behind their products.
By using Google’s FaceNet technology and incorporating Google Assistant into its indoor cameras, Nest is creating a more cohesive suite of products that stands to offer a more comprehensive alternative to consumers who don’t want to buy a full home automation service, as well as making their individual DIY devices smarter than those of competitors. While Nest lost some momentum following its purchase by Google and its acquisitions of Revolv and Dropcam in 2014, this announcement shows a renewed focus that should help put it ahead of rivals like Apple and Samsung.
"Smart home: Ring looks to secure more than the home as it raises record funding," TE0004-001151 (February 2017)
Francesco Radicati, Senior Analyst, Consumer Technology