Ring has become a massive name in personal home security, and it’s easy to see why. Its suite of products and protection plans can help suit the needs of many home and business owners. Naturally, as the company grows, it’s expected that their products will reach for new heights – and in this case, that may be entirely literal.
Recently unveiled by Ring is the new Always Home Camera, an indoor security camera that can fly. Like having a small drone patrolling your home, the Always Home Camera is advertised to keep an eye on the home while you’re away. Could this be the future of how home security devices work?
The History of Ring
Ring was founded in 2013 under the name “Doorbot”. Founder Jamie Siminof was hoping to reinvent the doorbell with his new smart doorbell, which offered to allow users to see who was at the door with the assistance of a camera embedded into the smart doorbell. Eventually renaming to Ring following a successful crowdfunding campaign that led to further investments from companies such as Goldman & Sachs, Ring remained successful and eventually was purchased by Amazon. The company experienced rapid success in a fairly short amount of time, which goes to show just how revolutionary the concept of a smart doorbell has been this decade.
Ring provides users with a type of security nearly everyone wants: an eye on the entrance of their house, even when they’re away. Ring Doorbells offer both high quality video of the front door and two-way audio – meaning that users can hear as well as speak back to who or what they’re hearing. This can be especially useful for guests – expected guests can be greeted with the two-way audio, and unexpected guests can be spoken to before allowing them entry, which is especially useful for informing unwanted solicitors you aren’t interested. Ring has additionally been offering further home security in recent years, with added cameras, sensors, and security plans at additional cost.
The Always-Home Flying Camera
Ring’s worth has been seen in the industry time and time again. In interviews with convicts put away for burglary, an overwhelming majority admit to knocking on the door first to ensure that nobody was home before they started breaking in. They’d often have cover stories for why they were there if somebody was home, claiming they’re looking for a lost dog or a house in the area that listed an ad in Craigslist. Ring doorbells give homeowners the ability to intercept these knocks when they aren’t home, so the would-be burglar knows that even if nobody’s home, the house is being watched. Ring doorbells have been intended for outside use – right on the entry doors to the house. The Always-Home Camera intends to add similar Ring service to inside the house.
Indoor cameras aren’t a new service offered from any security company. They provide an extra level of personal security, from keeping an eye on your pets, to ensuring that a housesitter is properly taking care of your plants. However, Ring is hoping to go beyond using one camera per room you want to keep an eye on. Ring wants to yet again reinvent home security, and the Always Home Cam seems to be their hope to do it again.
Ring’s motto for this camera is to be “One camera. Every angle.” The Always Home Cam has the appearance of a standard, slim Ring doorbell, but around the top, contains a mechanism that allows the device to take flight and hover around the home. Through the Ring mobile app, users can set automated flight paths around the home, which the Always Home Camera, when armed, will fly in that path, almost like a security guard on patrol. This provides an angle of everything around the camera, allowing users to quickly check what’s going on anywhere in the house from the app, whether checking to make sure they closed a window or turned the oven off while they’re out of the house. Additionally, the Always Home Camera will patrol when a contact sensor or motion sensor is triggered, and will report directly to which sensor was triggered to investigate for you.
Potential Drawbacks for the Always Home Cam
On the whole, the Ring Always Home Cam seems like a nifty little device. It takes patrols around the house on routes you set, it will investigate triggered sensors, and all together, it’s pretty cool to have what is essentially an indoor drone monitoring your home while you’re away! Additionally, privacy is in mind with the Always Home Cam. The charging dock it reports to physically blocks all cameras, so there’s no fear that it may be recording while home. And it will only ever follow approved flight paths created by you, leaving no concern that it will fly into rooms or areas you prefer remain hidden.
The Always Home Cam doesn’t seem to be the perfect replacement for standard in-home cameras, however. Ring hasn’t mentioned much about the encryption of the recordings taken by the Always Home Cam. The battery has been the largest cause for concern with the Always Home. With a runtime rated for five minutes and two hours for a full recharge, it’s fairly excessive how long it takes to get to full charge considering how relatively short it lasts. Naturally, it won’t be patrolling the house 24/7, but consumers fear this might mean certain events and paths could be overlooked to keep the battery charged in case of emergencies.
Although flying is the main selling point of the unit, a security camera that can hover comes with an all new set of concerns, the largest of which being pets. Cats and dogs specifically may confuse the expensive unit for a toy as it flies through the air, making leaps for it to try and bring it down to the ground. Any cat owner could tell you that it’s only a matter of time before a cat tries to take down something it perceives to be flying, whether it’s a fish shaped plush toy on the end of a string toy or a floating camera. Ring has stated that the camera’s rotors which allows it to fly are about the same volume as a blender or a vacuum cleaner while running, but since users will be out of the house while it flies, it shouldn’t be a bother. This does, however, discount the pets that may be in the home – any dog owner can tell you Fido isn’t too fond of the sound of a vacuum cleaner.
Regardless of these concerns, Ring seems to once again be changing the game of home monitoring. Having a wide angle of the home while away is a major boon for many people, adding an extra level of in-home peace of mind that not everyone is getting out of their home security system. Only time will tell how well this gamble of a brand new piece of security technology will shake out for Ring, and if other companies will attempt similar products.