When I first heard the term ‘Nest Cam’ I thought we were talking about something rigged up by Springwatch to check the progress of fledglings.
I had, of course, heard of the company Nest, who market heating controls for smart phones, but didn’t associate them with cameras.
The Nest Cam Outdoor uses the same kind of Wi-Fi connection as the heating controls, but it transmits and receives pictures and audio from a camera(s) to your phone.
If there is someone at your door you can talk to them even if you are lying on a beach 3,000 miles away.
Now you must take a view on the kind of people who carry out protracted telephone conversations from their sun lounger, especially to DHL delivery men telling them to leave the parcel in the shed – such conversations have a way of bursting the bubble of paradise.
Anyway, enough of my Victor Meldrew rants, let us assume that there are legitimate and peaceful uses for this technology. In fact, thinking about it, the use doesn’t have to be security.
I could have done with a Nest Cam a few years back when I had to keep one eye on my elderly mother who was then prone to falling over.
You can set a Nest Cam up indoors or out and, because it uses a power supply, there is no need for batteries. As well as that, unlike some heating control devices, this camera doesn’t need a modem or plug in receiver on your Wi-Fi hub. It uses the same Wi-Fi as your computer.
The installation of the hardware (camera) is a piece of cake – you simply run a power supply out to the 13amp plug and then run the round power supply cable to the USB connector block which then runs onto the pre-wired camera. It is extremely easy to work with and the phone app takes you through the stages for connection.
The downside for me is that the USB plug is bulky, so you need to drill a larger hole than you would for a plain ended cable. That said, you can just get away with it on the perp T of the mortar bed, so it looks fine once it has been filled
in. Linking the camera to you Wi-Fi or phone is best done by scanning the QR code with your phone, but you can hook it up to a laptop or tablet.
Having installed the camera I now get alerts when people enter the zone and I am ready to deal with all and every caller to my door.
They sometimes get a bit of a surprise when a voice comes to them through the overhead camera, but that is the world we live in now.
Kids hanging around in shop doorways can be told to move on, would-be burglars are told that they are being watched and I even saw what time my parcel was delivered.
I find it strangely addictive and will probably add a couple more cameras as the year goes on. If you want to store more than three hours of footage you have to subscribe to Nest Aware, which then stores the footage in the Cloud.
This is useful if you want to scroll back through some footage. The great thing is that even if someone vandalises the camera or breaks in the recorded footage is elsewhere.