Nest, the ecosystem of connected home cameras and gadgets backed by Google and Alphabet, is launching into Australia. It's not talking about speeds and feeds, though, so much as it is peace of mind -- about the security of knowing that your house is being monitored when you go on holiday, about the safety of knowing your smoke alarm is working when you switch off the light late at night. With the philosophy that its simple approach to two serious topics -- home security and fire safety -- are backed by some impressive user-friendly tech, it's set to shake things up.
Nest just launched in Australia, and its Google-connected, Alphabet-backed smart home products want to make your life safer and more comfortable. Here's how much you'll pay for one or more of Nest's new connected home gadgets, and when and how you'll be able to get hold of one.
Nest's head of product Maxime Veron told us that while Nest's hardware is officially only for sale in 12 countries -- and Australia is the 13th -- its cameras and thermostats and connected smoke alarms are already up and running in over 190 countries with millions of users who've shipped them internationally. Australia's the first Asia-Pacific market that Nest is launching into, in partnership with iSelect, and it's focusing not on its original air-conditioning Learning Thermostat but instead on home security and safety.
Launching today into Australia, the Nest Protect is a 'net-connected smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, while the Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam Outdoor are a pair of Wi-Fi enabled, but mains power connected, security cameras. Each can be used independently, but the more you link up, the more power you have with Nest's smart software hooks. (The Learning Thermostat, by the way, is a product that Nest is apparently considering for a future Australian release.)
Each of the three devices has an integrated microphone and speaker, and owners can communicate through them with the complementary Nest app for Android and iOS or check on the status of their products, monitoring room status with the Protect or viewing live or archived video through either of the two Nest Cams. Although the company's approach to making money is selling the hardware itself, it also has a Nest Aware subscription at $14 a month that lets security camera users store footage in the cloud for up to a month.
The holistic approach goes both ways, too: any time a Nest Protect detects smoke, Nest's cameras will begin recording video -- and store it temporarily in the cloud even if the user doesn't have a subscription to Nest Aware. But the philosophy extends further into the design of the products; rather than being a simple screeching alarm, the Protect will chime and warn users that it's detected smoke -- and in which area of the house, if multiple Protects are installed -- as well as sending alerts to all registered users' phones remotely.
The company's original connected home gadget, the Learning Thermostat, doesn't work with Australia's split cycle air conditioners, so that won't be coming to Australia. Similarly, we don't get the just-launched, AI-powered Nest Cam IQ, which recognises specific users' faces and pushes notifications to an owner's phone when they're detected. But the three gadgets launching today cover smoke and carbon dioxide in a house, and security both within and without, so there's already a reason to buy into Nest's ecosystem. [Nest]