So, here we are… after a few weeks of trying to convince numerous support reps at Nest that the problem I was experiencing was on their side, my cams magically started working again. Yup – the problem WAS on their side. Of course, they never communicated anything to the public – no forums, no blogs, no tweets… my cameras (and cams of other folks frustrated with the same problem) just started working again.
The issue, zone notification feature not working on Nest indoor and outdoor cams, lasted about 2 weeks and frustrated many of us. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was annoyed more with the handling of the issue than the issue itself. Nest, like many other tech companies, suffers from a lack of transparency. It’s rare to find companies willing to communicate known bugs or problems with their products. Instead, they buy time by making customers ‘troubleshoot’ in endless circles.
The one positive is that I was always able to reach someone on Nest’s U.S. based phone support. They were nice and seemed to genuinely want to fix my problem. I sense that they are just as much in the dark regarding what’s going on with the latest code release as the next guy. Do they not have internal status boards?
Forward to today
My two Nest Cams are up and working and they are very good. The motion detection algos accurately filter out most of the false alerts (trees moving, etc.) and recently added people recognition feature is quite accurate. There is, however, one flaw in the system. If Nest sees you walk by, it will send out notifications. So far, so good. However, if anyone walks by within about 5-7 minutes, an alert is not sent out. I understand the thinking here – why blow up email and SMS if I’m just walking back and forth. However, wouldn’t a savvy criminal know just to walk up to your house 5 minutes after the mailman or UPS delivery person leaves? There are times when I would like to turn off this feature – at night, for instance, I would want to be alerted of every instance of a person on my front porch.
I’m going to keep the Nest cameras – let’s be honest, nothing else has quite the picture quality. The algos are great, but vulnerable. The service is fast and attentive – just too many loose connections between customers, support, and engineers.
If you have any Next questions, feel free to let me know.