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Google’s Nest Hello doorbell can now detect package deliveries

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So you can stop checking every time the camera detects passersby

Photo by Florence Ion for The Verge

Google says that, starting today, its Nest Hello video doorbell can send alerts when a package is waiting for you. The camera, which can already detect people, is gaining the ability to monitor your doorstep for packages, and it will automatically send alerts when one is spotted.

There is one catch, though: Google says package detection can only be used by US Nest Hello users who have a paid Nest Aware subscription, which starts at $5 a month. Nest Aware already allows you to set alerts for motion in specific zones, like a crib or a doorway; get notifications for familiar (or unfamiliar) faces that show up on camera; and it will give you a 24/7 history of your Nest’s video feed. Package detection seems like another feature that Google hopes will make a Nest Aware subscription worth the price.

If you already subscribe to Nest Aware, Google says package alerts will be turned on by default once your Nest Hello gets today’s update. You can also turn them off in the Nest app if you’d like.

Being able to tell when a delivery person comes to your door with the package you’ve been waiting for is one of the perks of owning a video-enabled doorbell. But most doorbells can’t alert you if someone drops off a box; at best, it’ll sense that someone came by, and you’ll need to review a video clip to see more. Google addresses that limitation with this update, giving its camera an edge on competitors.

The Nest Hello’s package alerts aren’t as ambitious as something like Amazon Key — which lets couriers drop off packages in a user’s home, car, or garage — but Key only works if you’ve purchased an item from Amazon. Google’s alerts should tell you when any package has arrived, regardless of where it’s from.