The Nest Cam is a simple-to-use security camera for everyone. However, if you’ve got one laying around, you can use it for a lot more than deterring criminals. Here are some uncommon, but useful things you can do with your Nest Cam.

RELATED: How to Set Up the Nest Cam

Watch for Package Deliveries

Amazon might give you an anxiety-inducing tracker to tell you when your package arrives, but you’d feel better getting expensive stuff delivered to your door if you could see it for yourself. Point a Nest Cam outside your door and you can see when your packages arrive. Once it shows up, you can check your camera from work to make sure it’s safe, undamaged, and not stolen.

You can also set up Nest Cam to send you a notification when it detects motion (like your package being delivered). Open your Nest app and turn on notifications in Settings. You can choose to only send notifications when you’re not home, or any time. Subscribers who pay for Nest Aware can even set up Activity Zones to watch a specific part of the camera for movement. If you want to make sure your stuff isn’t sitting out for longer than necessary, this is incredibly handy.

Keep An Eye On Your Pets

You love your adorable little ball of fur, but every hour you’re away from home (and half the ones you aren’t), you know they could be destroying something. Or peeing on something. Or eating something they’re going to puke up later. You might not be able to stop everything they do, but it would at least make you feel better to know when it’s happening, or which pet did the destroying. Nest Cams can help with that.

While you’re at work or on vacation, Nest Cams can show you a live feed of what your pets are up to in your home. You can also view snapshots of recorded video whenever motion is detected from up to three hours prior. If you subscribe to Nest Aware, however, you can watch up to 30 days worth of video history. That should give you plenty of evidence to suss out whether Fido, Fluffy, or War Machine is destroying your throw pillows.

Talk to Your Kids While You’re Away

You might not need to start a conversation with someone who’s trying to break into your house. However, if you’ve got your Nest Cam set up indoors, you’re more likely to catch your kids throwing stuff in the house, or sneaking into the liquor cabinet. If that happens, you can use the speaker on the Nest Cam to talk to the people in your house, just to let them know you’re listening.

When you log in to watch your camera feed on the web or mobile app, you can see a microphone button. Click this (or tap and hold on your phone) and you can speak through the camera in your home. The speaker quality isn’t that great, but it’s enough to get a simple “I wouldn’t do that, if I were you” through to the kids to let them know you’re watching.

Use Your Camera As a Motion Detector For Other Smart Gadgets

Nest Cams wouldn’t be worth much if they weren’t smarter than your average webcam. Fortunately, they are. As we’ve touched on before, your Nest cam can notify you when it detects sound or movement. You can also use that trigger to control all the other smart gadgets in your house using IFTTT and its powerful big brother Stringify.

The Nest Cam IFTTT channel and Nest Stringify Thing can use detected motion or sound from the Nest as triggers for their automation (and Stringify can also be activated by Nest’s person-detection feature). You could use that trigger to turn on your living room lights when you come home, log every suspicious movement or sound from your security camera, or even fake a barking dog through your Sonos speaker to scare someone away. Sure, that last one might sound a bit like overkill, but if you want to make your home as smart as possible, you can do a lot more with a Nest Cam than just look through it.

Profile Photo for Eric Ravenscraft Eric Ravenscraft
Eric Ravenscraft has nearly a decade of writing experience in the technology industry. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, PCMag, The Daily Beast, Popular Science, Medium's OneZero, Android Police, Geek and Sundry, and The Inventory. Prior to joining How-To Geek, Eric spent three years working at Lifehacker.
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