Video doorbells are an amazing invention that have been working to keep more homes safer than ever. The Nest Hello video doorbell has been around for some 2 years now and has steadily seen improvements over that timeframe. Facial recognition has been part of the Nest Hello package since the beginning, and while it doesn't always get it right, it has been an amazing feature that has helped homeowners identify who is at their door before looking.
The team at Google's Nest has been working adding more objects to the list of things that can be recognized, and it looks like they're close to debuting the next big object identification breakthrough: packages. While a cardboard box doesn't seem like a very exciting target for identification and recognition, what's inside that box at the doorstep is obviously a much bigger deal.
In the latest Nest app update, 9to5 Google found that there was mention of quite a few new features, all revolving around identifying packages and the folks that interact with them. A 'new features' screen will appear when the app gets updated, and this time around it's been prepared to say "Now your Nest Hello will help you spot packages.", followed by "With package alerts, you'll receive a notification after someone has left a package in the camera's view, and another one when someone picks it up."
That's about as obvious as it gets, but the implications and specifics of the new functionality found are even more exciting. Two new notifications will be displayed for owners with a Nest Aware subscription, which is a requirement for the facial recognition functionality as well as this upcoming new feature. Nest Aware is a subscription that costs as little as $5 per month and will save recordings from your Nest Hello video doorbell. Depending on the subscription, these will be saved for 5 days, 10 days, or 30 days.
These two new notifications will read either "Package left" or "Package picked up" depending on what the Nest Hello sees. Package left seems like it should get a bit of rewording, as that could be easily misconstrued as "package has left", but seeing as this isn't a feature that's even available yet, Nest could still be working on that specific verbiage before launch.
The Nest Hello's camera has a super wide 160-degree angle camera which can see the vast majority of the area around a front door, but you'll need to make sure the doorbell can see the package on the ground as well as the person interacting with said package. Whether or not this means angling the Nest Hello a bit so it can see the ground, or just lowering it a bit will have to be up to the individual setup.
Video doorbells can be a boon for home security and the peace of mind that comes with knowing you can see your front door and interact with anyone that might be there, even if you're not. It can also be a bit of a bane for privacy in the neighborhood as more and more surveillance equipment crowds our lives.
There are positives and negatives to everything, though, and it's clear that, despite the negatives, video doorbells are providing an unparalleled service to homeowners and renters alike. Package thieves have become a big problem in this era of doorstep delivery, and stopping folks from stealing your stuff is always good in our books.