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Google’s new Nest Cam is always watching, if you let it into your home

Live-streaming video camera stores up to 30 days of video with audio in the cloud and performs advanced analysis of it

Google has released another product in its Nest Internet of Things lineup. This time it’s an internet-streaming home security camera, which means Google could be watching your every move, if you let it.

The Nest Cam can livestream video of your home straight to YouTube or be used as a security camera, letting Google into your home. Photograph: Eric Risberg/AP

The Nest Cam, leaked a week before its official unveiling, is the product ofanother Google acquisition – Dropcam.

The Nest Cam is essentially an improved Dropcam Pro, and is very similar to competitors from D-Link, Samsung and others. The differentiator for Google is Nest’s “Aware” system.

The camera is small enough to be relatively inconspicuous – though not a spy camera by any stretch of the imagination – and is designed to be placed on a shelf, attached to the wall or a tripod. It connects to the internet via Wi-Fi and streams a wide-angle view of your room day or night, similar to competitors.

But with Nest Aware, Google is also offering to record up to 30 days of video, with audio, to the cloud and do constant analysis of it.

Learning more about what’s happening in your home

A Nest support document states: “If you subscribe to Nest Aware with Video History, your Nest Cam will use advanced analysis to learn more about what’s happening.”

The system is capable of ignoring everyday events such as car headlights flashing through the window, while looking out for the extraordinary. The camera looks for motion, for instance, and notifies the owner if it sees something, but it can also listen out for unusual sounds while ignoring background hum of the boiler.

The owner can also view the camera’s feed through the Nest app on the iPhone or Android device, and the Cam integrates with Nest’s learning thermostat and smoke alarm.

The company is also pushing the Cam’s ability to stream video straight to Google’s YouTube, turning it into a live streaming “behind the scenes” camera. . While some may find this feature useful for security and safety, others will raise privacy concerns and may consider constant surveillance sounds rather too much like a dystopian future.

Nest states that it respects user’s privacy, and that it does not sell or share user data. Nest also says that it is run separately to Google and that Nest accounts are not cross-linked with Google accounts.

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