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Nest’s Hello Doorbell can now tell you when a package arrives

If you’re the proud owner of a Nest Hello doorbell and have a penchant for online shopping, there’s good news. Today, Hello will gain a detection feature that’ll notify you when parcels are left or picked up at your front door.

It’ll begin rolling as part of a firmware update this morning in the U.S., but you’ll need a Nest Aware subscription to take advantage. Nest Aware starts at $5 per month and adds  capabilities like always-on recording and facial recognition.

“For many people, coordinating a package delivery can be a headache,” wrote Google in a press release. “If you’re expecting one and don’t have a front desk or doorman, you face a quandary: do I stay home and wait for it? Leave written instructions for where to deliver it? What happens if I miss it?”

Package detection will be switched on by default when the feature launches in earnest this week, and you’ll be alerted to it by a splash screen in the Nest mobile companion app for Android and iOS. From said screen and the app’s settings menu, you’ll be able to choose whether to turn it on or off. And from the menu, you’ll be able to define an activity zone — a constantly monitored portion of the Hello’s field of view — where packages are usually delivered.

Google recommends ensuring packages are within range of the Hello’s camera and that they’re well-lit during day and night. In some cases, it says this might require installing a wedge to change the doorbell’s angle or removing objects that block its view.

“The ability to detect a package was one of the most requested features from Nest Hello’s users, and we hope this update gives them even more peace of mind,” added Google.

The Hello debuted last year after a brief delay, joining the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor camera and Nest Door Lock in Google subsidiary Nest’s eponymous Nest Secure home security portfolio. It sports an HD camera (1,600 by 1,200 pixels with a 160-degree field of view) that can capture video in both 4:3 and 16:9 ratios and in high dynamic range (HDR), along with a speaker and microphone that allow for bidirectional conversations and an LED that triggers when it detects a person.

It’s an interesting time to be a Nest customer. Google revealed at its I/O developer conference in May that it and Nest would join together into a single brand, Google Nest, and that Nest device buyers would be asked to convert their accounts into Google accounts. At that same conference, Google took the wraps off of Nest Hub Max, a smart display with a built-in Nest Cam, ahead of a rumored wall-mountable Nest Mini speaker with a proximity sensor, an audio jack, and high-volume bass that’s expected to be announced sometime this fall.

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