Ever try to go back in time to see what events triggered an alert on your Nest Cam? Not easy. Especially if you are using the default (and free) cloud service. You need a way to go back in time and see when and what happened. That’s where Google Drive comes into play with a Nest Cam. In this article, we will show how to use Google Drive with a Nest Cam.
Don’t know what Google Drive is? The best way to describe this free and valuable service is to say it’s your own virtual disk drive in the cloud. If you have a gmail account, you have access to Google Drive. Use Google Drive to store documents, spreadsheets or photos. These objects can then be accessed by one of Google’s office productivity tools.
Google Drive can be accessed within a browser. It can also be accessed by other services such as IFTTT.
IFTTT is one of our favorite automation and integration services. This is a free service that facilitates integration with devices and services such as gmail, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. IFTTT is an acronym for “If This Then That”. You can do some amazing things with this service.
The IFTTT service is going to be used to capture motion events and write it to a spreadsheet in Google Drive.
If you don’t already have an IFTTT account, visit the IFTTT web site and register. Once you get there, you will notice what they call recipes. These are pre-written scripts to facilitate integration.
We want to setup the the recipe that allows us to keep track of sound or motion events. This recipe will capture detail from the event and write it to a Google Spreadsheet. For this to work, you need to authorize IFTTT to access your Google Drive. It will ask for permission to do a lot of things including the creation and editing of your documents. Once that authorization is setup, you select the Nest Cam that will be integrated with this recipe.
You also need to authorize IFTTT to access your Nest Cam (this recipe will work with a DropCam too). Once that is done, a list of Nest Cam and DropCams will appear.
Activating the Logs
Now that IFTTT is authorized, you can activate the recipe. This will activate writing each event to Google Drive. Depending upon your preference, you can check the box to receive an email every time the recipe runs. This is useful in the beginning to make sure everything is working as expected, but not so much after you are comfortable everything is working properly.
The end result of all this will be a spreadsheet located in your Google Drive. The default name is “Nest Cam sound or motion log” but you can rename it through the settings. There are three columns. The first column shows the camera name, the second has the date and time of event and the last row is a very long URL for the camera feed.
A new spreadsheet is created after 2,000 rows.
All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way. I have owned and tested dozens of cameras. Manufacturer support varies. There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions. There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).