Nest Is Applying IoT Know-How to Home Security

The makers of the Smart Theromstat are taking a new approach. Will a new suite of IoT-based home security products be the smart home market breakthrough Nest has been looking for?

A year ago we wondered if Nest might become the first high-profile failure in the consumer Internet of Things (IoT) market. But now the company is aiming for a comeback with the release of a suite of new products aimed at applying Nest's IoT know-how to home security.

Bill as being “easy on residents, tough on intruders” the new system, Nest Secure, is being touted by the company as being a home security system that is easy (and even enjoyable) to live with. The Nest Secure alarm system consists of three devices: Nest Guard, a security base that is a combination alarm, keypad, and motion sensor; Nest Detect, a motion sensor capable of detecting movement in a room and also when an object it is attached to, such as a door or window, is open or shut; and Nest Tag a keychain fob that allows homeowners to arm and disarm Nest Secure without a passcode, similar to a car's keyless entry system.

Nest Secure can link a series of motion sensors and cameras throughout the home to your smartphone. (Image source: Nest)

“When we looked at the home security market, we saw a similar landscape to when we entered the thermostat market,” Matt Rogers, Founder and Chief Product Officer of Nest, said in a press statement. “Just as people tend not to use programmable thermostats because of their complexity, the current home security offerings are also a huge pain to live with – whether it’s bulky hardware, false alarms or loud and stressful countdowns.” Citing a 2013 survey by Nationwide Insurance, Rogers added that 43 percent of people with alarm systems don't ever arm them because of the inconvenience and hassle. “We set out to design a product that isn’t just effective during a security incident, but is delightful and easy to use when people are at home with their families, living their lives, which is the vast majority of the time.”

Homeowners can control access to their home in three ways using Nest Secure: they can program Nest Tags to allow entry; grant entry through a smartphone app; or enter a passcode into the Nest Guard. Like Nest's signature smart thermostat product the security system sends updates and notifications to your smartphone. The Nest Guard also has a battery backup and optional cellular backup service, so the system will function even if there is no power or WiFi available.

For additional security Nest also announced two other products a Video Doorbell and a Google Assistant-enabled outdoor security camera. The Nest Hello Video Doorbell can detect people at your door (before they ring the bell) and will send an alert and snapshot of your visitor to your phone. From there you can even have a FaceTime-like video chat with them through your phone.

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is the outdoor equivalent to the company's indoor camera released earlier this year. “Instead of just showing what’s happening, [the camera] will deliver critical, actionable information via an alert – like spotting someone unfamiliar in the yard – so users know that the alert

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