Exclusive: Nest is working on a 4K camera with advanced smart features

Google-owned Nest used to be one of the few companies selling WiFi home security cameras, but now everyone is doing it. While Nest still has a very polished solution, other companies are quickly closing in. So, what can Nest do to set itself apart? We’ve learned from a trusted source that Nest is on the verge of announcing a 4K home security camera, but it won’t actually record in 4K. Instead, it uses the 4K resolution to power some cool zooming tricks.

Confidence level

We’re rating this leak with a confidence level of 10 out of 10. We have a high degree of trust in this source, and have seen evidence of this device’s existence. It’s happening.

The goods

The sensor in Nest’s unannounced camera will be capable of recording in 4K, but the image it shows you will be 1080p. It essentially zooms in on a 1080p section of the full frame. That means you can see much more detail than you ever would zooming in on a frame that’s only 1080p to start with. If you’ve ever seen someone do a live stream with a Mevo camera, this is a very similar idea.

When the new Nest camera detects motion, it will automatically zoom in. That zoomed view is still a 1080p image, so you will actually be able to see what’s going on. There will also be a down-scaled 1080p full frame view available, thus you can view either zoomed or full 1080p feeds. There is not currently any plan to allow users to stream or record in 4K resolution. This is a WiFi camera, so streaming 4K video would be problematic in many environments anyway.

Some of the features from Nest’s paid tier are also going to move to the free one. The only thing we’re not entirely sure about is which features and for which cameras. It may only be the human detection that goes free for those who buy the new 4K camera.

As for the camera itself, it will be powered by USB Type-C, and there will be an LED ring around the lens to indicate that it’s recording. Yep, just like a webcam. The design (which we can’t show you, sorry) is similar to the current Nest Outdoor camera—it looks a bit like a shower head. One big drawback here: the new 4K camera is for indoor use only. It will also be priced much higher than current Nest cameras at $300. We expect the Nest 4K camera to be announced by the end of May.

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