On the run-up to launching the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, I committed to keeping you updated with the project as it develops. If you remember, in my previous post, I explained my reasons for choosing this route as it has lots of benefits for getting new tech products off the ground, like this one.
I thought it would make sense to take an in-depth look at the integration app that comes bundled with a Nest Box Live nest box. I believe this is one of the stand-out features that make this product different to anything else on the market. Having spent the past six months working on it, it is now at the stage where I can explain some of the features on how it integrates with the hardware.
First of all, I’d like to mention that many third-party apps work with existing nest box IP cameras (some of them with woeful results), but this has been developed from the ground up and to work specifically with the hardware I designed. The app is a working project, so new features are being added, and the final version may look slightly different from what it is now.
After logging in, you are presented with the Home Screen, otherwise known as the Dashboard. This is intended to be the app’s main navigation screen, and you can reach all aspects of the app from here. There are four main options in the centre: Videos, Timeline, Live Nests, and Notifications. I shall explain more of these individual screens below.
Underneath these buttons is ‘Device Status’. This explains what the nest box is currently doing. The example below shows “Live mode active”. This means the nest box camera has automatically detected birds inside and is broadcasting the video to the app. One of the other most common options to see here is ‘Detection mode’. This mode means that the camera’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) is being used to check if there are any birds inside. Once it makes a detection, it sends a notification to you, and from there, you can view a video of that visit.
When you receive a notification that a bird has visited the box, the most likely place you will come first is to the Videos page to see what bird has visited. This page contains videos of all the visits to your nest box in ‘Detection Mode’. Each of the videos can be scrolled through, tapped on and watched. Note that when you watch the videos, you can see information gathered about that visit. Such as the current weather, the temperature inside the nest box, and the date and time of the visit.
Unlike Videos, Timeline helps keep track of all visits to your nest box even when the camera is in Live Mode. Having this screen is essential because Videos only record the occasional visit in Detection Mode. However, Timeline keeps track of all visits to your nest box even when the camera is in Live Mode.
One of the most stand-out features I believe users will love is ’Live Nests’. In ‘Live Nests’, you can view any of the cameras currently streaming on the Nest Box Live network, so you don’t only get to see your own nest box camera, but others from around the world. I know this raises privacy concerns, and this feature is disabled by default. You can opt-in to share your nest box with others on the network, and in return, you can also view others who have also decided to opt-in. There is the further option to disable microphone sharing from your nest box so that conversations can’t be overheard.
I have yet to explain how you view your nest box camera. This is very simple! On the bottom navigation tap, you can select ‘Camera’, which will take you straight to your nest boxes camera. If you have signed into the app via Facebook, you can instantly share your live camera to your Facebook profile for your friends and family to see in real-time.
The app’s final main feature is Insights. On this screen, you can see detailed information about the birds visiting your nest box. Above, you can see a chart of times when the nest box is most active. In this example, it is most active at around 1 pm and 4 pm. This can be further broken down to times when different species are visiting.
The app will be available for download on iOS and Android after backing the project on Kickstarter and when your nest box has been delivered.