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Nest Hello is a smart doorbell with HD video monitoring

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Pricing and availability are still up in the air

Nest is getting into the smart doorbell business with Hello, a small, remote-sized device that can stream live HD video to your phone and send and receive audio. The doorbell, which Nest unveiled today at a hardware event in San Francisco, is part of a broader security push that’s building on Nest’s existing security camera business, itself part of an acquisition in 2014 of video-monitoring startup Dropcam.

The Hello doesn’t have too many bells and whistles. The device has a 160-degree field of view, so it can see packages laying on the ground or even very tall guests standing at your door. The camera itself is equipped with HDR, similar to the Nest Cam IQ models, so that it can adjust to various changes in lighting. It also has a built-in wedge so you can adjust the angle of the camera to match your doorstep setup.

Because it’s part of the broader Nest Cam family, the company says Hello can perform person alerts to ping you about and send photos of people standing at your door, even when they don’t ring the bell. If you subscribe to Nest Aware, the company’s subscription service, Hello can constantly monitor activity outside your front door and send you mobile alerts when, for instance, strangers are talking. It can also perform the same facial recognition tech, borrowed from its sister company Google, that underpins the Nest Cam IQ camera. (Nest Aware costs $10 a month for your first device, and $5 a month for every new device added.)

Another feature, called Quick Actions, lets you respond to visitors at the door with a set of automated replies. You can also engage in full audio conversations through the Nest app. Nest says it’s working on a feature tentatively called Warm Welcome, that would shine a light to greet anyone who walks up to the door as both a way to reassure owners that Hello is active and watching, and deter any potential thieves who may be casing the home or attempting to steal a package.

Nest says the device will start shipping in the first quarter of 2018, but it doesn’t yet have a concrete release date. The company is also not yet talking about pricing for Nest Hello.