back to article Nest leaves competition in the dust with new smart camera

Nest has restated its position as the poster-child of the smart home with a new indoor camera, the NestCam IQ. This is the third camera Nest has put on the market since its purchase of Dropcam in 2014, but it is the first to move the design forward with significant improvements in both hardware and software. The new camera …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't get it

    what are these *for* ?

    Something like the Echo I understand the (limited) point of but I have no idea why I'd want these cameras in my home.

    Does any Reg co-commentard actually have a use for them?

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: I don't get it

      I have a simple camera that email me pictures if motion is detected. If my burglar alarm goes off, I can see if there's something to worry about, or just the cat sat on the mat.

      As for the rest of the Nest camera's features - too creepy for words.

    2. zebthecat

      Re: I don't get it

      Me neither - I guess there must be some use case but I can't think of one apart from spying on your own family.

      Very weird

      1. MAH

        Re: I don't get it

        I have a 14 year old with ADHD and the little bugger never sleeps so I've seriously thought about getting one of these to track/alert when he gets out of bed in the middle of the night so I can get up and put his ass back where it belongs at 3am.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: MAH...

          Perhaps you may wish to check the diet of your 14 year old? Lactose intolerance etc does disturb sleep.

          Think for a second, why would a teen who feels tired, and whos body should physically not wake them up all night, be waking up?

          Give a dog a bad name and all that... :/

    3. Ralph B

      Re: I don't get it

      Even if you did have a use for it, why would you ever buy it from a company with their history?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Netatmo (France) already has this - without the monthly fee!

      I found the Netatmo camera discounted on Warehouse Deals (as I thought €200 new was a bit much). it does everything claimed for nest, but stores on local SD, unless your conditions are met, then it can upload an image/vid to Dropbox. you can securely watch vid/pic remotely via netatmo app. NO MONTHLY RENTAL! Yay.

      end user is in charge, and not being charged

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Netatmo (France) already has this - without the monthly fee!

        THANK YOU!

    5. Alan Bourke

      Re: I don't get it

      They're for targeted advertising.

    6. Haku

      Re: I don't get it

      "Does any Reg co-commentard actually have a use for them?"

      Unplug it and use it as an expensive paperweight or door stop?

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't get it

      The can be remotely configured to recognize Tit, Dick and Ass - which is then stored "in the cloud" for Bogdan & Co to pick up and splurge over the internet. Maybe skim credit cards numbers too from the pictures.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't get it

        "The can be remotely configured to recognize Tit, Dick and Ass - which is then stored "in the cloud" for Bogdan & Co to pick up and splurge over the internet"

        Thank goodness - the acute shortage was driving up the costs almost one hundred fold...

        (checks math = 100 x 0 is still 0...)

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't get it

      Youporn, for starters.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is

    *nothing* that would ever convince me to have one of these, or indeed, any thing like it installed in my domicile.

    That includes Echo or the Google thing...Or any IOT device..

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: There is

      Remember the doctor Lanning in I, Robot (terrible movie adaption, not the books?)

      Working at home, while VIKI watched him through a sensor bar?

      It's what pops into my head whenever someone mentions the Echo or Siri even.

  3. djstardust Silver badge

    Ermmmm

    Burglar breaks in, switches off (or steals) the wifi router. Camera utterly useless.

    Am I missing something?

    1. Peter 26

      Re: Ermmmm

      Most criminals are stupid.

      http://www.theblaze.com/news/2013/01/02/the-surveillance-camera-footage-of-burglars-breaking-and-entering-into-an-n-c-home-is-surprisingly-fascinating/

      If you wanted to stop internet based cameras you could cut the BT line entering the house and the virgin cable. But if they knew there was cameras they probably wouldn't bother...

      Plus hopefully it will upload as it records.

    2. The Specialist

      Re: Ermmmm

      Yes, plenty. In my house, phone lines enter the premises at the roof line and my "router" is in a secure cabinet in the attic, then the WiFi is distributed throughout the house via ceiling mounted APs with overlapping coverage. The moment you realise there is a camera (and hopefully look up at it), your face is in the cloud storage.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ermmmm

        So it can see through hoodies and masks can it?

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Ermmmm

          So it can see through hoodies and masks can it?

          Just add infrared and backscatter microwave.

          Oh, and a phased plasma rifle in the 40W range, because there's little point in standing back and doing nothing while you're being burgled.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Ermmmm

            Or you could keep your doors and windows locked. Almost all burglaries where I live (college town) are where the place wasn't locked. Few criminals are able to pick locks - at least not if you have decent ones - and fewer still are willing to break glass and tear through a screen, or kick down a door. If you live in places where that's a concern, then I guess you need bars on your windows and a barred gate over your front door to live in your own prison.

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    So how easy is it going to be to pwn?

    And a 6 core processor to do real time facial recog?

    Why do the words "Time was the CIA used to bug people, now they do it themselves" keep echoing through my mind?

    1. fajensen Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: So how easy is it going to be to pwn?

      Life was so much Better in the old days: STASI would actually pay people to rat on their friends, whereas today we have to pay ourselves for our own surveillance and computers does all the ratting.

  5. Warm Braw Silver badge

    The automatic deletion of "unfamiliar" faces

    That's presumably not so much a "privacy" feature as an acknowledgment that there is much greater value in retaining photos which have been tagged with a name by some compliant fool who would be better advised to spend his money on proper locks and insurance.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: The automatic deletion of "unfamiliar" faces

      Its just daft - those are the ones I'd *want* to keep.

      Local face scanning and recognition - if I walk into my garage, or my wife does, then that's fine. If someone else arrives then notify me... It might be a friend that I've walked in with, or it might be a thieving scumbag - then I need those photos saved...

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      @Warm Braw ... Re: The automatic deletion of "unfamiliar" faces

      This is because the device has limited memory/storage to retain many images. So it has to save space.

      This isn't that nefarious.

      What I don't like or trust is that you have to send the data up to their cloud instead of keeping it local. They say Google doesn't have access to the data. Yeah right. And Google didn't war drive either.

      And what's to say that they can't change their T&Cs that everyone clicks thru and doesn't read to allow Google access to those images and data?

  6. AMBxx Silver badge
    Big Brother

    never sell or share your data without a customer's explicit permission

    The explicit permission will be on page 30 of the software update agreement.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: never sell or share your data without a customer's explicit permission

      The explicit permission will be on page 300 of the software update agreement in 4pt white on white type.

      There fixed it for you.

      Sorry but No, just No.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: never sell or share your data without a customer's explicit permission

        But anyway - the customer's data is not the customer's face. Why would they worry about sending pics of their family, friends, neighbours without asking *them*?

    2. Lamont Cranston

      Re: never sell or share your data without a customer's explicit permission

      Which customer?

  7. MrXavia

    Cloudy again... why do companies keep thinking that adding cloud to something is a good idea?

    Will this work if the servers go down or is it another paperweight?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just another paperweight as I believe it requires a $10/m subscription to be able to record.

      1. JoshOvki

        "Just another paperweight as I believe it requires a $10/m subscription to be able to access your recordings."

        FTFY

        1. Warm Braw Silver badge

          "Just another paperweight as I believe it requires a $10/m subscription to be able to access your their recordings."

          FTFY

    2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Why do they think it's a good idea? Because people are paying for it... every month.

      OK, not people like you or I, but other people certainly do.

    3. VinceH Silver badge

      "Cloudy again... why do companies keep thinking that adding cloud to something is a good idea?

      Will this work if the servers go down or is it another paperweight?"

      ^This.

      If an "internet of things" thing is not fully functional as just a "thing" thing if there's no internet connection and/or you don't want to pay a sub, then it is a useless thing and I don't want it.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re Cloudy again...

      well, they invented this "cloud computing", now they invented a use for it :D

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Privacy Whac-a-mole

    Nice to read... But is this just transitional? Once we forget about it, will Google slurp Nest servers? Google said no to slurping 'Double-Click' profile-data, guess what?... Now they're slurping real-world credit card data too. Facebook also said no to slurping WhatsApp to get the deal done. Then 2 years later, after the plebs had forgotten, major slurp-time etc... Lying dogs!

    ==================================

    ....."We also quizzed Nest representatives about its data privacy rules and security features and were assured that the company will never sell or share your data without a customer's explicit permission. It also advises people using its facial recognition technology to inform anyone being tracked, and points to the automatic deletion of "unfamiliar" faces as evidence of its pro-privacy stance......

    ....."All the data is encrypted and is only stored on Nest servers within your account. Google doesn't get access despite owning the company. There was, of course, a security issue with Nest cams earlier this month, when it was revealed they can be wirelessly attacked via Bluetooth to crash and stop recording footage. The company has rolled out a fix and notes that no one has been able to hack into its camera's feed."....

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "All the data is encrypted and is only stored on Nest servers within your account. Google doesn't get access despite owning the company."

    For now.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "Google doesn't get access despite owning the company." For now.

      Until the crop has ripened enough for "harvesting"

      Lord Vada "All too easy."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In other news

      the earth is flat.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sigh ...

    Chuck Berry once said, in response to an critics complaint that they couldn't understand the lyrics in rock'n'roll songs:

    Man, if you can't understand the words, you're not meant to understand the words

    Bringing that up to date: If you can't see the point of the tech, then it's not aimed at you.

    Mentioned this device to the good lady wife, and immediately she said: "Mum would like that",

    Mum is starting to suffer dementia, and can't recognise faces reliably anymore. Which can be distressing when a nurse has to visit.

    Knowing the camera can do it for her would be a selling point (and she has the money).

    Pound to a penny that scenario is buried in this devices target market - not coffee-shop owning hipsters.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      It is good to know that there is actually a viable market for this kind of product.

      I am glad that it can help the elderly and, by extension, the more fragile part of the human population.

      Now excuse me while I still value my personal privacy more and still do not consider the Cloud as a reliable, or safe part of my life.

    2. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Sigh ...

      Amazon's Echo has been remarkably popular for similar reasons. Old people like helpful tech that can call son/daughter, take photos of visitors, etc.

    3. sal II

      Re: Sigh ...

      >Mum is starting to suffer dementia, and can't recognise faces reliably anymore. Which can be distressing when a nurse has to visit.

      What is better suited in this case, a cutting edge tech that requires some degree of technical knowledge to operate/maintain or a small binder of printed pictures with names and brief description of the relevant persons?

    4. fajensen Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Sigh ...

      Mum is starting to suffer dementia, and can't recognise faces reliably anymore. Which can be distressing when a nurse has to visit.

      Yes, That would be a good use.

      The problem is that Google or ('not-Google' to comply with the letter of the SLA) a a matter of course will sell their newly created database of "Mum's with dementia AND money" to PVC-windows replacement people, door-to-door salespeople, various pension and investment frauds, telemarketers, and of course all those "Microsoft Support People" in BumBay!

      On balance Mum loses!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "will sell their newly created database of "Mum's with dementia AND money" "

        "On balance Mum loses!"

        True, but since she has dementia she won't remember it . Psychopathic thinking at its clearest. Anon because even if I can think like one does not mean I am one.

        1. fajensen Silver badge

          Re: "will sell their newly created database of "Mum's with dementia AND money" "

          True, but since she has dementia she won't remember it

          I know that you really mean "remember well enough to press charges" because they do remember having once had something and now it is gone. Sometimes they suddenly remember the whole thing in full detail like a flashback, so they repeatedly relive the point where they got ripped off by that "nice young person at the bank".

          The people in that situation often suffer terribly, often blaming themselves for their loss and/or getting paranoid, very angry about everyone "... stealing from them, ... only waiting for them to die, ...and so on".

          We would be be doing a lot more good by razing call centres and off-shore investment service centres to the ground than is currently achieved by murdering poor villagers in Somalia.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "I know that you really mean "remember well enough to press charges" "

            Quite correct. Which is the only question the sort of people who would run such a scheme would care about.

            With the possible exception of being shot in the head and dumped in a ditch. An occupational hazard for such unpleasant people.

  11. tiggity Silver badge

    pets

    Can it learn to recognise cats, dogs, rabbits, whatever other pets people may have that could fire off motion detectors as familiar / no concern.

    Otherwise it's not very useful for the (not insignificant) chunk of the population with pets

  12. John Mangan

    What's SMART about....

    ..putting an always-on panopticon spy device in your house?

    Like many other posters on here; no, never.

    Sell me a camera with the software and let me run my own server completely independent of the company and I might start thinking about possible uses but otherwise, I'm out!

  13. Esme

    Shurely shome mishtake

    Shouldn't it be recording the faces of the people it does NOT recognise, who are presumably burglars, so that you can give a mugshot to the authorities?

  14. Cuddles Silver badge

    It's not cheap, but it is good

    Good at what, exactly? It's apparently an indoors camera, so completely useless for security. All it does it let you see what's in a single room in your house. Why would anyone need to do that? As always people can come up with vague niche uses for things involving medial conditions and the like, but that's clearly not what all this "smart" home crap is actually marketed for. At least things like security cameras, locks, thermostats, and so on, have obvious uses, even if IoT implementations are generally badly designed, insecure crap that end up significantly worse than existing solutions. But I'm utterly baffled what anyone thinks is the use case for a camera that can recognise faces in part of a single room in your house. For $300 plus a monthly subscription.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Security

    I note the article gives a passing mention to security but dodges any actual information on how lax the security really is - non of these things have good security and with what this is supposed to do security should be the prime information point.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Security

      All of these things are perfectly safe.

      After all, the "S" in "IoT" stands for security, doesn't it?

  16. commonsense

    Revolutionary...

    "Most usefully, the camera is able to pan and tilt, following someone around the room – something that is done through the software rather than moving the camera physically."

    So it has optical zoom then.

    "The HDR camera enables what the company is calling "supersight" with a 12x digital zoom that far surpasses anything else we've seen on the market (the current Nest cam does 8x)."

    Could this read any more like an advertisement? Who cares about digital zoom?

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Revolutionary...

      Add to the "better than anything on the market" when quoting digital zoom... when it's trivial to add 1000 bizillion digital zoom (useless yes, but still would be technically true).

  17. IamStillIan

    "If you already have a Nest device set up in your house, the new camera won't require you to enter any login or Wi-Fi password details, but will grab the information through your existing account."

    How exactly; they're broadcasting your local network credentials out of your house into the www? Why?

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      Don't forget that if you have an Android phone and don't set the appropriate option, Google does this as well - in the name of "backups" - so Nest aren't alone; they're just doing what their adoptive daddy does, but using convenience as an excuse, rather than backups.

  18. TheInnerPartSystem

    Not unique

    Ten days Cloud storage? Remembering to increase my CCTV cloud storage everytime I go on a 2 week holiday is hardly convenient is it?

    I prefer the options on the Netatmo NSC01, basic facial recognition and storage on a free dropbox account.

  19. ChrisC

    "Most usefully, the camera is able to pan and tilt, following someone around the room – something that is done through the software rather than moving the camera physically."

    Hmm... Not really what I'd call panning/tilting, particularly given the limitations it places on where you can physically locate the cameras whilst still providing the fields of view required.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It wins

    at being the biggest blanc pachyderm of the year award.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It wins

      Once the IoT paradigm takes off, it will be the 'Blanc Pachyderm of the nanosecond award' as the torrent of Dross rolls out across the globe and each useless item is 'improved' and rolled out ad infinitum.

      Why do people think that such contrived uses are going to be useful in the real world.

      Why would I work hard at protecting my privacy only to install a mass of spying 'security holes' for anyone to take advantage of.

      This and all the IoT ideas are predicated on the idea that a rolling Subscription for a mass of 'must have devices' is a quick and easy way to get rich for little effort.

      All these devices just so happen to need a 'Cloud based' backend to operate that you will pay for ..... for ever !!!

      If the masses fall for this 'garbage' they deserve all they get.

  21. Mage Silver badge

    We walked away distinctly impressed.

    Why?

    The changes seem to be eyecandy.

    A camera with a monthly fee and needing 3rd party server is a fail.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The new camera will come with free person alerts

    I misread it as " with free person adverts". But then again, it's just a beginning of a nevereding road...

  23. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Who buys these?

    I suspect that this camera is targeted to people who feel reassured by brand name. Google, Apple, Toyota, Maytag, etc. The products aren't the best but people feel like they're a safe purchase with good support. To some degree, that's true. Playing with various white-label Hikvision cameras shows how deeply into hell things can go.

    "Power cycle the camera when it crashes, you say? IT'S A REMOTE CAMERA. I WOULDN'T NEED THE CAMERA IF I WAS THERE."

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    actually....

    the idea of a few smartish video systems keeping track of the outside of my house, from a suitable height, would be quite useful. Being as I live on canal, in Amsterdam with wide open public waterways being the new frontier for those with anti-social ideas about my property.

    But a decentish synology, with a decentish outdoor camera or two gives me far more control of MY imagery; has much the same feature set and, if I take the time to configure it properly, as much image replication as the nest would have. True initial outlay is higher, but I can more with the kit I buy

    that said, at least Nest is selling you a product, not capturing you as a product..

    1. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: actually....

      "the idea of a few smartish video systems keeping track of the outside of my house, from a suitable height, would be quite useful."

      Quite possibly, which is why security cameras have existed for a while now. However, the problem there is in the very first line of the article - "a new indoor camera". This isn't an external security camera, it's a "smart home indoor camera". And while adverts articles like this one are happy to gush about how amazing it is technologically, no-one has yet been able to come with a single sensible reason anyone would want one.

  25. bexley

    only cloud recording...

    ...which you have to pay an monthly fee for.

    They get all your data, from your home, with facial recognition and you pay them for it.

  26. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    So, looking at the features...

    ... this would be very much like having my mother-in-law living in my house. Without the homemade food.

  27. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    "Can it learn to recognise cats, dogs, rabbits, whatever other pets people "

    You mean can it spot a rogue pussy?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019