Google will be lowering the video quality of its Nest cameras to preserve internet bandwidth as most of the world continues to work and play online due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
A Google spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company will lower camera quality settings by default this week.
“To answer the global call to prioritize internet bandwidth for learning and working, in the next few days we’re going to be making a few changes. We believe these changes have the potential to help make it easier for communities to keep up with school, work, and everything in between.”
When Google flips the switch to downgrade the camera settings, Nest users will see camera video quality settings revert to “Defaults”, which is the middle setting between “Low” and “High.” Users can manually change the setting back to “High” if they wish. Google says it plans to reset the setting to whatever the previous setting was once broadband network traffic eventually eases off.
Many companies that use streaming in their products and services are making similar moves to reduce the strain on broadband networks around the globe, including streaming companies such as Disney+, Netflix, Apple TV+, and others.
Many streaming companies have already taken similar precautions, with Disney+, YouTube, Netflix, and Apple TV+ all cutting streaming data bitrates in Europe last month.