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The Nest Cam IQ – one of the smartest security cams we’ve come across

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Nest’s new indoor camera can follow a person around the room using its built-in face detection. Here we have all the information you need to know about the Nest Cam IQ, including the UK release date and price.

Although security cameras can be useful, many rely on plain motion detection which leads to a flood of insignificant notifications.

The Nest Cam IQ aims to change all of that, with its intelligence able to detect between friend or foe, and with image quality high enough to clearly make intruders recognisable.

At the heart of it is a 4K image sensor with built-in HDR. The camera may only save a 1080p stream, but this downsampled video should be of superior quality than rival 1080p sensor-only cameras. In a demonstration, it was clear that the video stream picked up a significant amount of details of rival cameras.

With 4K having four times the number of pixels of Full HD, this leads to there being four-times more built-in zoom as well. In total, the Nest offers a 12x digital zoom. In the demonstration we were shown, we were able to clearly see an intruder’s face when zoomed into. The digital zooms offered by cameras with 1080p sensors pale in comparison.

Among the camera’s features we have built-in night vision through 940nm LEDs. You should find these LEDs provide better coverage, and they’re also less visible to the eye meaning they shouldn’t be able to be seen when turned on.

The Nest Cam IQ comes with a six-core processor, where the camera’s intelligence comes from. Using Supersight technology, the camera can track an intruder straight out-of-the-box. You’ll be able to see a Full HD image of the intruder being followed around a room (this ability is provided by a 1080p window moving around the 4K sensor), while still providing a whole-room view thumbnail.

The thumbnail can be made full-screen for normal viewing at any time. So effectively, the camera is transmitting dual 1080p streams. The provided 802.11ac Wi-Fi is definitely required for this type of bandwidth.

The Nest Cam IQ is now able to recognize a person in-camera, and can send a Person alert. With the prior Nest Cam Indoor or Outdoor cameras, you needed a Nest Aware subscription for this option. Now, Nest Aware provides you different features, including the 10 or 30 day video storage.

The most interesting aspect of the Nest Cam IQ is the Familiar face alerts. Utilizing Google’s face detection technology, what’s behind Google Photos, the IQ is able to differentiate between people. We’ve seen this feature in the Netatmo Welcome as well, although it’s arguable more sophisticated in the NW as it can be programmed to send alerts for specific people.

The Netatmo Welcome can also take advantage of IFTTT, triggering actions depending on who is detected. For the meanwhile, the Nest Cam IQ is only able to tell you a familiar face has been detected. Since this feature uses the cloud, however, we envision this will get more customizable and smarter over time.

Nest Aware also brings with it intelligent audio alerts, although this is also available to Nest Cam Indoor & Outdoor customers. This option is now able to recognize dogs barking, people speaking, and will warn you of either. The Nest Cam IQ uses on-board processing of its built-in microphones to provide clearer audio in order for the cloud detected process to work effectively.

As with previous models, the Nest Cam IQ has a built-in speaker, so you’re able to communicate with people in your home. Besides being able to scare away would-be thieves, Nest have promised you’ll be able to use this feature to have regular chats with those in your house; a proper audio or video call seems far more natural a use.

The IQ comes with a newly-developed stand, which gives it 180-degree swivel as well as 160-degree tilting without support. The tripod mount in its base means you can also wall mount the camera using a standard adaptor (not supplied).

All this technology comes with a downside, the price: £299.

To compare, Nest’s Cam Indoor was just £159, the same price as the Netatmo Welcome. Only after we receive the review sample of the Cam IQ will we for sure know if the premium factor is really worth it. If you can’t hold on until then, the camera is available for pre-order now, and will ship at the end of June.