Google is rolling out a pair of smart products through its Nest division that it hopes will end up on millions of front doors. The first is Nest Hello, a video doorbell that lets you know who is on the porch, and the other is Nest x Yale Lock, a smart lock that is purportedly "tamper-proof" and makes physical keys a thing of the past. Both products connect to an accompanying Nest app for added functionality.
With the Nest Hello, Google is giving itself a competitive solution to Ring, which Amazon paid over $1 billion to acquire last month. Prior to that, Amazon also purchased Blink, a smart camera and video doorbell company. Obviously the front door is a space that Google and Amazon have both determined to be an important part of the smart home ecosystem, and each one is spending big bucks to come out on top.
The Nest Hello is similar to Ring in that it allows you to see who is at the door by peeking on your mobile device. You can be home or out and about. On the Nest Hello, there is a light ring that pulses when someone approaches. It's capable of detecting a visitor and will alert you before they even ring the doorbell. It also has a speaker that is "loud and clear," and can be heard over street noises and echoes, according to Google.
"The front door is also a place prone to package theft. So Nest Hello sends you an alert when someone’s there, even if they don’t ring. If it’s someone suspicious, just say something to scare them away, or use one of the pre-recorded messages. Even a simple 'Can I help you?' helps keep packages safe," Google says.
That alone would be reason to consider the Nest Hello, or something similar. Where I currently reside, both FedEx and UPS are pretty bad about leaving packages at my door without ringing the doorbell or knocking. It would be nice to know when a package arrives rather than having it sit out in plain sight, and I suspect I'm not alone in feeling that way.
For anyone who is interested, the Nest Hello is available now for $229.
The Nest x Yale Lock doesn't sport a fancy camera or speaker like the Nest Hello, but does have a keypad so you can still get inside your home if you lose or forget your keys. It can also be unlocked through the accompanying app.
"The Nest x Yale Lock is key-free and tamper-proof. It connects to the Nest app, so you can unlock the door from anywhere. Create custom passcodes for people you trust and decide when they work, so not everyone can get into your home at all hours. You’ll get an alert on your phone whenever someone locks and unlocks the door," Google explains.
Google's smart lock also automatically locks itself, so you don't have to worry about yourself or a family member remembering to lock the door behind them. This one runs $249 for the lock alone, or $279 bundled with Nest Connect, which you'll need if you plan on using it with the Nest app.