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Nest Cam IQ – Stuff

So what makes the Cam IQ so special that it costs almost twice the price of its rivals? There are six highlights, which I’ll go through in order of coolness. For starters, unlike its 1080p rivals, it has a 4K sensor with HDR.

It doesn’t actually record or stream in 4K, because that’d probably drop-kick your home network. Instead, it uses that extra resolution to help its software do some image fine-tuning and next-gen tricks. The best of these is called ‘Supersight’.

If the camera detects an ‘unfamiliar face’ (and you have it set-up to record ‘unfamiliar faces’), it’ll automatically zoom in on that person and follow them around the room, like they’re starring in a slapstick burglar comedy. Sadly, it doesn’t also overlay the Pink Panther theme music, but it’s a cool trick that’s done digitally rather than relying on a potentially noisy motorised stand. A close relation of Supersight is ‘familiar face alerts’, which you’ll have to pay extra for as part of ?80 per year Nest Aware subscription (it’s also only available on the IQ).

It again combines the 4K sensor with Google’s face recognition tech to help identify family members and create a (slightly scary) library of mugshots. This means you can use the Cam IQ as a kind of family tracker, making sure the kids genuinely did come straight home rather than via the skate park. I was initially sceptical about the need for the Cam IQ’s 4K sensor and HDR, even if it does mean you do a proper 12x ‘zoom, enhance’ on a burglar’s face to see details like eye colour. After all, we’ve found 1080p cameras like the Nest Cam Indoor to be perfectly capable of picking out a face during the day or night.

But after seeing it in action, the real benefit of the extra resolution are features like Supersight and familiar face alerts.

Both are certainly cool, if still more of a luxury than a security cam essential.

Talking of which…

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