The upgrade, which is only coming to cameras in the United States right now, will take advantage of the microphone and speaker that handles two-way audio, to add Google Assistant functionality. It makes a lot of sense, upping the usefulness of a smart home device and continuing the trend of getting more smart assistants into your home.
Essential reading: Ultimate guide to Nest
The upgrade will also make the Nest Cam IQ Indoor and even more attractive proposition, given its relative lofty price in the smart camera market.
Cost is clearly on the minds of Nest execs and the company has also revealed that it’s to reduce the operating costs of using some of the premium features its smart cameras.
Nest has just introduced a $5 per month plan for Nest Aware, which enables users to store and playing back video for five days. Nest Aware previously started at $10 for 10 days of playback – a serious outlay for those already spending $299 on the camera itself. While Hive and Wyze Cam offer free playback options, Nest at least offers 24 hour capture for the price, so you can scrub though every second of the day rather than just specific motion events.
And on the topic of Nest Aware improvements, owners of older Nest Cams will get smarter alerts, and those devices now have the intelligence to differentiate between people and “things” – e.g. pets. While the Cam IQ range can already do that thanks to its facial recognition, it will now better recognise people in your home by duplicating familiar faces, which should reduce false positives even further.
The news comes hot on the heels of Google re-welcoming Nest into the fold, and we could see this type of integration becoming commonplace. That leaves Alexa out in the cold, and it will be really interesting to see how these integrations fare over time. Google and Amazon have been trading petty tit-for-tat digs for some time now, with YouTube pulled from Echo Show and Amazon not selling Google Home devices on its store.
Watch this space.