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Nucleus makes its intercom smarter and security-focused

Intercom systems have fallen out of fashion, but families still need to stay connected, especially if you don’t want the kids constantly connected to a smartphone. Nucleus takes the old-school idea of an intercom and updates it a bit. The connected-home device aims to help families communicate more easily; it can place audio and video calls, serve as an intercom, provide security alerts, and more.

The black or white device has an 8-inch screen and wide-angle lens to fit the entire room in one shot. It can be attached to a wall stand or wall mount, and then either connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cord. Once set up, Nucleus can place audio or video calls to the house’s other devices or those in the homes of family and friends, as well as to any iOS or Android device. To ensure that conversations are clear, the microphone is noise-cancelling and the camera has night-vision capabilities.

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Equipped with Bluetooth, Nucleus is voice activated, so making calls is easy. “Nucleus is designed by families for families and combines everything a family needs — a phone, intercom, and security alerts — into one connected device,” said Jonathan Frankel, founder and CEO of Nucleus in a press release.

Privacy concerns were also kept in mind by designers. The device uses encrypted software, local routing, and also has a built-in shutter that can be physically closed. Additionally, it aims to improve home security and can work with a motion sensor to send alerts when unexpected motion is detected. Nucleus is even capable of providing local safety updates, such as severe weather alerts.

The device currently works with over six connected home products, creating a simple command center for the connected home. Among the compatible products are Nest, SmartThings, and iControl.

Nucleus is currently available for preorder starting at $209. Customers who preorder will be placed in the Nucleus Family Program, which includes free motion detection capabilities, as well as a 50 percent discount on the cloud recording service. The product will begin shipping in spring 2016, with the iOS and Android apps available around the same time.