With the Google Nest Hello, homeowners can make use of smart technology to secure the premises. One feature that Nest Hello owners should consider taking advantage of is the “activity zone” feature; once set up, you will only receive notifications that really matter.

Users can set as many activity zones as they need (with four color-coded highlights to choose from) on the Google Nest Hello, but requires a subscription to Nest Aware to do so. Generally, the fewer activity zones there are, the more effective and efficient the Nest Hello will be in reporting notifications from areas that you want secure.

Knowing what activity zones are and how the Nest Hello uses them to report motion will significantly improve how you keep your premises safe. Without activity zones, the Nest Hello will report everything (and that means everything) that it sees – from the stray moth that flies in the night to an unannounced visitor who has come knocking on your door.

What is a Nest Activity Zone?

With Nest Aware (which you can subscribe to here), you can set up “activity zones.” Activity zones are spaces that you create through the Nest app to restrict what areas your Nest Hello pays attention to.

Setting Up Activity Zones

  1. To create an activity zone, go to your Nest app.
  2. Then, you should see “Zones” in the bottom-right corner of the app.
  3. Once you tap on “Zones” and then “Create,” you’ll be able to see a transparent box on the screen that will have adjustable points on it.
  4. Simply drag the points until the transparent box covers the area you’re interested in covering. You have now set up an activity zone.

With this activity zone set up, the Nest Hello will ignore the activity that happens outside of the area. This means that the Nest Hello can be set up to only notify you about what’s going on when you need to know.

For instance, you can choose to have one activity zone be your driveway, one activity zone be your mailbox, and another activity zone be your doorstep. If your doorbell is pointing outwards towards the street, you can set up an activity zone so that passing cars or pedestrians on the sidewalk isn’t catching your device’s eye and flooding your phone with false alarms.

Can Motion Still Be Detected Outside of Activity Zones?

Sometimes, you’ll want to have a bit more range than the activity zones you set up will show. After all, the possible thieves out there aren’t planning their course of attack based on which activity zones you’ve set up.

When setting up your activity zones, you’ll notice two options titled “Motion” and “Sound” that each have a checkmark next to them. When you set up your activity zones, you can choose to uncheck these options. However, having the checkmark next to the one titled “Motion” will give you motion alerts for all motion that is detected by the Nest Hello.

Can You Turn Off Notifications for Certain Activity Zones?

If you feel like certain zones are giving you too many notifications, there are two simple ways to turn off notifications for certain activity zones.

  1. The first way is just to uncheck the zone for notifications but keep the zone in your collection. When you tap on the “Zones” icon in the Nest app, all you’ll need to do is tap the zone that you no longer want to receive notifications from, and the checkmark should disappear. The next time you want to receive alerts from this zone, tap the zone, and it’ll re-enable notifications.
  2. The second way to turn off notifications for a particular activity zone is to delete the zone entirely. Once again, you’ll head to the Nest app and tap “Zones.” From there, just hit “Edit,” and you’ll be able to delete the activity zones from which you no longer want to receive notifications.

Final Thoughts

Without activity zones, the Nest Hello simply records everything that is going on in front of the lens. This can lead to an annoyingly large number of notifications being sent to your phone. (For instance, on a device I own that can’t make activity zones, I receive anywhere from 30 to 50 notifications a day. This has led me to turn off notifications entirely for the device!) There would be nothing smart about the Nest Hello if this were the case.

However, thanks to Nest Aware, you can take control of the activity zones that your Google Nest Hello sends you notifications about. The Nest app gives four colors to assign to different zones that you may want to be covered by the Nest Hello, but if you decide to receive notifications about all motion, that’s available too.

New to Nest Hello? Check out our article on installing a new Hello device for your home!