Nest's New Security Camera Can Distinguish Between People and Pets

Alert: There is a rogue cat in your home.

by Monica Hunter-Hart
Flickr / MowT

Nest, the innovative company making Internet of Things devices for the home— most especially, security cameras with hilarious unintended benefits — has come out with a new camera that does more than just capture footage. The “Nest Cam IQ” identifies threats: It figures out whether something is afoot in your home, and whether that thing is an intruder or just your cat.

Remember early security cameras that had to be monitored by humans, who would assess for themselves whether or not a threat was present onscreen? Those days are long gone, as the Nest Cam IQ not only does the monitoring but alerts you about what’s going on. It’s smart enough to distinguish people from pets, shadows on the wall, or other non-human visual movements.

The camera is programmed to recognize what’s familiar, so users can get specific notifications about who’s in the house. Parents can receive an alert when their kids get home from school, for example, and they can be notified if there’s a stranger present. The camera also tracks people and analyzes what they’re doing.

“When designing Nest Cam IQ, we focused on what we’ve learned from our customers, which is that people don’t want more information, they want insights,” the company’s co-founder Matt Rogers said in a press statement.

Nest users sometimes release videos of crazy things caught by the camera, like this baby's first steps.

YouTube user: Nest

These “insights” allow camera owners to get real-time information about the events in their house in a meaningful way. The updates aren’t descriptions of camera’s field of vision, but analyses of the significance of what’s happening.

Still, if users do want to see for themselves what the camera sees, they can use the Nest app to tune into its live recording, “including a full 130-degree view of the room, and a close-up tracking view of the person in the home.”

Heck, some people can barely tell the difference between their cats and human family members. Sounds like a pretty neat security camera.