Any Nest Cam users using openHAB?

as far as I know, you can read some details from Nest, but you cannot for example switch off/turn on, just video streaming is read/write. Correct?

My reading of the Nest Cam API is that you can stop and start streaming via the API, as long as the camera is reachable when you attempt. The API docs call that turning the camera off an on.

Well, in facts a camera works when “see something” … so “is_online” means is reachable, and “is_streaming” means ON/OFF as I said.

understood :slight_smile: thanks

I’m not seeing any option to be informed about motion activities … Any idea?

From the docs, if you sign up for “Nest Aware with Video History,” you can get information about the last event via the binding, such as the snapshot URLs, when the event started and stopped, etc. You could then have a rule that watched for the item changing.

DateTime NestCamLastEventStart "event start [%1$tH:%1$tM:%1$tS]" { nest="cameras(Dining Room).last_event.start_time" }


rule NestCamMotion
  Item NestCamLastEventStart changed
  // react to motion

So I should also receive the clip via mail in case something happened?

that would be great (but the risk is to do accidentally a mail bomb :smile: )

on the other hand, I don’t understand if I need the Nest Aware to receive a clip in case of Smoke Sensor alarm. Or I receive an alert that should trigger other rules in case I leave the house (Thermostat off, Cam on, presence off, …)

Hi Andrea,

I just submitted new code that should implement API support for the Nest Cam in the Nest binding. If you do decide to get a Nest Cam, please try this code and let me know if it works as intended. I won’t merge it into openHAB until I’m certain that it works!

I don’t have personal knowledge of Nest Aware, what it offers or what it costs, just saw the mention in the Camera Guide.

Thank you watou, much appreciated.

Do you think there is any possibility to record video, or at least collect a snapshot in case of alarm, locally, without using Nest Aware? Any chance?

Thanks again for your support here.


I think the chances are low for that, because the cameras(X).last_event.* properties are only available if your account has a subscription to Nest Aware with Video History. I don’t see where the API would provide sound/motion event information without the subscription. The API without subscription does give you deep links to the streams, so I suppose you could record it yourself all the time and do motion/sound detection yourself, but that’s probably not worth the trouble.

On the plus side, it sounds like the cloud service crunches the video/audio streams for better event detection than could be done on the camera itself, so there’s the chance that in exchange for the Nest Aware subscription, you get fewer false positives or missed events.

If I weren’t so cheap I would get a Nest Cam and subscription just to see. But reading online reviews of Nest Cam and the cloud subscription would probably be very educational.

I didn’t understand what a deep link is … but maybe this can’t solve the problem.

the cloud subscription unfortunately is not so cheap :frowning:

I believe that Nest is targeting their camera and subscription to a different demographic than those who are likely to be interested in openHAB, but in the process of appealing to their target customers, they set a high bar for themselves to make home surveillance user-friendly. So if their cloud service did a good job in reporting only actual sound and movement, it could be appealing.

Since I’m cheap, my Foscam cameras send me emails with lots of false positives, but I live with it.

any specific Foscam camera to suggest?

I like the old FI8910W units because they will call a URL you provide on motion detection. If they are on the same subnet as your openHAB, you camera can just turn ON a Switch item itself.

The newer FI9821W I don’t like as much, despite the higher resolution, because the different firmware seems harder to integrate (no motion callback URL, for example).

Thank you :smile:

another question is: do you think it’s possible to see the streaming on openHAB application, without using the vendor app (in this case, Nest)?

otherwise probably the best thing is going through a solution like Foscam

Yes, I think it would be possible to see the live Nest Cam stream in an openHAB client, but I say that without having tried to set it up myself.

Another interesting approach is Welcome by Netatmo … I’ve seen the API (not yet implemented in our Netatmo binding). It seems it should be possible to get a picture from the camera in case of event … that would be nice, you can receive the email before the camera will be put offline by a potential burglar. Drawback, of course, are false positives.

The Foscam cameras can also email you a set of snapshots when there is motion. I don’t know what other features the Netatmo Welcome has over Nest Cam, Foscam, or the whole range of possibilities. It would be a big job indeed to produce a thorough comparison of wi-fi cameras and how they fit into openHAB or other home automation scenarios. Hopefully some kind tech journalist can have a go at that subject, getting down to the real integration details.

good idea :smile:
on the other hand, I was thinking to manage the snapshots via openHAB, to send email only when 4-5 events happen in x time … maybe an idea to reduce false positives?

Hey watou! I would love an example sitemap, items, and rules that you’ve used for the foscam. i have a newer firmware one.

Thanks for your guidance and insights!

Hello watou, I have a Nest cam and recently changed my internet plan from unlimited to limited. The data usage by the camera is pretty significant relative to the new plan even after reducing the resolution. Wondering if it possible to have the camera start recording when an event is detected, record the event for some user definable amount of time and then stop recording. To be most useful it would not record anything in between events. Continuing to receive the motion alerts would be useful as well.

You start and stop camera streaming from openHAB, but I think there is no control possible for explicitly recording motion events. I would experiment with stopping streaming during periods when you don’t need visibility (using a cron-based rule), and then only use streaming bandwidth at other times when you would want to catch events. I don’t have firsthand experience with the Nest Cam so I don’t have more to offer, sorry!