Nest’s European chief on entire product revamp and the all-new Nest Cam

17 Jun 2015

Original internet of things (IoT) player Nest has redesigned its entire product portfolio and revealed a new IoT security camera called the Nest Cam. Nest’s European chief Lionel Paillet explains all.

The Nest Cam is a full HD 1080p device with motion detection and night vision that transmits all video instantly to the cloud. Last year Nest acquired Dropcam for US$555m.

Nest, which was founded five years ago by the father of the iPod Tony Fadell, was itself acquired over a year ago by Google for US$3.2bn.

“At Nest, we always wanted to build more than a thermostat,“ said Tony Fadell, Nest chief executive officer. “Our vision was to create a thoughtful home – a home that takes care of itself and the people in it. Five years later, all the pieces are in place.”

As well as the new Nest Cam, Nest has created an entirely newly engineered version of the Nest Learning Thermostat that can now warn customers when temperatures drop to avoid frozen pipes and turns on the heating accordingly.

The second-generation Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm now comes with a new split-spectrum sensor that uses two wavelengths of light to look for different types of fires.

The company has also introduced the Nest app 5.0, which brings together all of the Nest products across different platforms to function as one network of devices.

“We’ve built a portfolio of best-in-class products that each stand on their own while doing more together,” Fadell said.

“More than 9,000 developer partners are using the Works with Nest developer program to help seamlessly integrate everything from washers and dryers to cars with our thermostat, smoke alarm and camera.

“And we’re working with energy and insurance partners to bring more value to our shared customers. Nest products are used in 190+ countries, across multiple platforms, and available wherever people shop. The result? Energy saved, lives spared, and countless memories recorded and shared.”

Engineered for perfection


Nest’s new Nest Cam internet of things camera

Nest’s general manager for Europe Lionel Paillet told that after less than a year in the Irish market the company has been impressed by strong uptake of its products.

“Harvey Norman has done an incredible job creating the connected home category in Ireland. And Electric Ireland has made our devices more affordable to customers by focusing on the reality that energy saving is about the size of your wallet, it is about how you manage energy in your home.”

Discussing the new Nest Learning Thermostat, Paillet said that one of the standout new features is the ability to communicate with customers to let them know their pipes are in danger of freezing and to let them remotely switch on their heating.

Another key factor was how easily all the products can now integrate with each other wirelessly.

Describing the brand new Nest Cam, Paillet said the device has multiple uses. “The first apps will be centred on home monitoring, baby monitoring and more. The best way to think of this is as a device designed to communicate data directly to the cloud. You no longer store video, it streams directly from the device to the cloud for secure storage and rapid retrieval.”

He said that the device comes with discreet speakers so a viewer or homeowner can communicate with people in the room. “A small LED on the top of the camera shines blue when someone is looking and it comes with a speaker and microphone so you can talk directly to the room.

“We don’t store anything on the camera – we use the cloud intensely. Users will be seeing content on their smartphones or tablets using streaming and can zoom automatically over the cloud.”

Paillet said the camera is secured with RSA encryption.

Inside the device are eight high-powered infrared LEDs and new algorithms to boost night vision and motion detection.

Users can pay per year or per month by subscription for 24×7 recording and every motion detected is marked for easy recovery and instant alerts. Like the thermostat the device learns the rhythms of homes and offices, so for example pets won’t create alerts.

He said there are two types of subscriptions: 10 days continuous recording or 30-day video history.

Moving on to the new Nest Protect, Paillet said the device has been redesigned on the inside and outside and is 11pc thinner. It’s light has been made even brighter for dark, emergency conditions and it has been designed to notice fast fires that have smaller particles of smoke and more flame.

“The design of homes have changed a lot and it only takes three to five minutes for a home to catch fire. We have completely re-designed the interior of the device to create new ways to detect fires using UV rays.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years