The Nest Hello video doorbell is coming to the UK, after having a North American launch at the end of 2017.
The smart video doorbell from Google-owned Nest will be available from June 13, and there are two different prices: £229 for just the doorbell, £329 for the doorbell plus professional installation.
The doorbell is what’s commonly referred to as wired-wireless, with its power coming from wires but the connection to the internet happening over Wi-Fi.
Smarter than your average doorbell
Nest’s entry isn’t exactly hitting the market hot on the heels of its biggest competitor, as (Amazon-owned) Ring is already generations into its product cycle, so it’ll be interesting to see if Nest is able to carve itself a niche in an already-establishing market.
When we were briefed about the Hello, we asked what would make a consumer choose Hello over its competition, and a Nest spokesperson said: I’m going to be blunt. We deliver a better experience. It’s a security guard that won’t sleep because we’re powered all the time. The video is [optimised] for your front door. You can have a conversation without speaking. All-in-all we’ve developed an experience that is more complete.“
What he’s referring to are the features that make Nest stand out. The aspect ratio of the image is 4x3 rather than 16x9 so you don’t have to turn your phone on its side to look at the image, plus you get a full image of the person rather than just the face. Layered on top of this wide aspect ratio is computer effects that counter the warping you get with a standard fish-eye lens.
The ‘conversation without speaking’ element is a feature that allows you to select from a set of pre-recorded soundbites (think along the lines of ‘Just leave it by the door’ for delivery people) so that if you’re in a meeting and your doorbell goes at home, you can respond to it with a tap of the app.
Currently these are fairly limited and there’s no option to record your own messages, although we get the impression this feature may come at some point.
As part of the Nest family, if you are a subscriber to the club services, the Nest Hello will be able to use the portfolio of recognised faces in your account, and will actually be able to tell you who is at the door over your Google Home speaker or the app.
They are certainly some interesting (and genuinely useful) features, and if Nest does manage to take some market space, it wouldn’t be the first time that Google had pulled off a move like this, with the Google Home smart speakers steadily gaining ground on Amazon’s Echo range.
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