Google's Nest announces new security camera, upgrades

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Google's Nest Labs is releasing new versions of its surveillance-video camera and talking smoke detector as part of its attempt to turn homes into yet another thing that can be controlled and tracked over the Internet. (KGO-TV)

A couple of years ago, the Bay Area was blanketed with billboards advertising the Nest, a learning thermostat made by a local company that was acquired by Google. On Wednesday, we got to see what Nest has been working on since then.

Tony Fadell is part of tech history.

"The head of Nest, Tony Fadell, came from Apple," said CNET Editor in Chief Connie Guglielmo. "He's known as the father of the iPod."

The little white box that got us to give up our CD players is the same way Nest wants us to give up what it calls appliances from another era.

"Most smoke alarms actually can't tell the difference between steam and smoke," said Nest Hardware Marketing Director Maxime Veron.

The new version of Nest Protect can. And it gives you a gentle warning in case you're just cooking.

If there is smoke or carbon monoxide, it sends a message to the Nest thermostat. After all, the furnace is where carbon monoxide comes from. And fans can blow smoke around.

"So it's gonna stop that fan," Veron said. "It's gonna shut off your furnace."

But Nest executives say they're most excited about this -- last year they acquired the makers of the wildly popular Dropcam home surveillance camera. Now, this new version is dropping the old name.

"Now we're calling it Nest Cam," Veron said.

The new, sharper version of the camera that's made burglars famous on YouTube now works inside the same Nest app that controls the thermostat and the smoke detector. If there's a fire, the camera starts recording. It's all about things working together.

"I call it the Star Trek, you know, everything is connected future," Guglielmo said. "That's what they're building on, that's what they're moving toward. And it's not fiction. They're actually building these systems. That's where we're headed."

Remember, Nest is also the division of Google that's working on another connected product.

"Tony Fadell is in charge of the reboot of Google Glass, and we asked him specifically about that, and he said he had nothing to say," said Guglielmo.

But he did say you might be able to get the thermostat for free from your power company and the smoke detector free from your insurance company.

Related Topics:
hometechnologyfirecarbon monoxideappappsmobile appgooglesurveillance camerasurveillance videogadgetsSan FranciscoPalo Alto
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