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Nest's next product? The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor brings facial recognition tech to your backyard.

The new Nest Cam IQ Outdoor glows blue when someone's talking to you.

Josh Miller/CNET

Nest expanded its home security lineup Wednesday with the new $349 Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, available for pre-order now and shipping in November. Complete with facial recognition tech, Supersight, two-way talk and more, this model also brings Nest's premium IQ tech to your yard. 

A look back

Nest's inaugural product, the Learning Thermostat, was released in 2011. While it wasn't the first app-enabled thermostat to hit retail, the design-forward Nest helped us imagine home electronics as more than utilitarian hunks of plastic. Now in its third iteration, the $249 Nest Learning Thermostat has a few more features but hasn't strayed far from its original design. Nest recently introduced a more affordable model as well, the $169 Nest Thermostat E. The E retains the Learning Thermostat's rounded shape, but its off-white finish is more minimal.

Nest also offers a lineup of security cameras -- the $199 Nest Cam Indoor, the $199 Nest Cam Outdoor and the $299 Nest Cam IQ. All inspired by Dropcam cameras, a DIY security startup Nest purchased in 2014, the three models come with high-definition live streaming, motion detection and various smart home integrations. 

Nest's $99 second-gen Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector rounds out the Google/Alphabet company's product offerings. 

$349 for a camera?

So, why would you spend $349 on a DIY cam? Nest points to its 4K image sensor as the main reason this model costs a whopping $150 more than the now-entry-level Nest Cam Outdoor. While it won't stream in 4K (it's just 1080p HD), having a better sensor makes it possible for Nest to offer 12x digital zoom, Supersight and free Person Alerts. 

Supersight was introduced with the Nest Cam IQ. It allows you to zoom in on motion activity, particularly people walking in front of the camera's field of view. Person Alerts are available on Nest's other security cams, but it's free for Nest's IQ customers, both for the IQ Indoor and Outdoor. 

With a Nest Aware subscription, IQ customers will have access to Nest's Familiar Faces feature, which lets you scan faces of friends and family members and get personalized alerts related to who the camera detects. 

Here's an overview of the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor's tech:

  • Two-way talk - Nest says this model's speaker is 15 times better than the Nest Cam Outdoor's
  • 1080p HD live feed; 4K image sensor
  • 12x digital zoon
  • Night vision
  • Facial recognition - Person Alerts for free; Familiar Faces with a Nest Aware subscription
  • Motion detection
  • Included power adapter is supposed to connect to an inside power outlet

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is available for preorder now for $349 and will ship to customers in November in the US, Canada and Europe. UK pricing was not available, but $349 is about £260. Australian availability was not announced.

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