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WATCH: Ring announces whole-home drone security cam

The Ring Always Home security drone has not yet received FCC authorization but is expected to start shipping next year at a cost oft $249.99

 

The new Ring Always Home Cam is an autonomous drone that can cruise around inside your home,  much like your robot vacuum does now. It can follow a pre-programmed route or freelance its own moves to give you a perspective of any room you want when you’re not home. Once it’s done flying, the Always Home Cam returns to its dock to charge its battery. It has not yet received FCC authorization but is expected to start shipping next year at a cost oft $249.99

Jamie Siminoff, Ring’s founder and “chief inventor,” says the idea behind the Always Home Cam is to provide multiple viewpoints throughout the home without requiring the use of multiple cameras. He stated in a pre-release interview that it was a very difficult product to build. No lie. It also clearly raised concerns of privacy for being at home with the device. That creepiness factor seems to have influenced the design.

One peculiar design choice: the charging dock blocks the camera’s view, and the camera only records when it is in flight. Presumably this was to be reassuring for homeowners who want to be sure the camera is not always watching. However it would also render the camera useless as a fixed camera. Ring also says the drone makes an audible noise when flying so it is obvious when footage is being recorded. So luckily, there are no surprises and no excuses for being recorded at an inopportune time.

We have a few questions about Amazon’s flying indoor security camera drone

The Always Home Cam is fully autonomous, but owners can tell it what path it can take and where it can go. Much like a Roomba, when you first get the device, you build a map of your home for it to follow, which allows you to ask it for specific viewpoints throughout the home. Users can also command the drone to fly on demand or programmed to fly when a disturbance is detected by a linked Ring Alarm system.

Ring says the camera can be used for simple things like checking if a stove was left on or a window left open, or if a door is locked when you’re away from the home. It features obstacle avoidance technology to allow it to avoid objects in its path and its shrouded propellers prevent damage to property or hurting a pet or person that might collide with the drone.

Jamie Siminoff, Ring’s founder and “chief inventor” wrote a blog post:

“Here at Ring, I’m constantly challenging myself and our teams to push the boundaries of innovation when it comes to delivering new products and services to our customers. That might mean a new category of devices, a next generation of a product we’ve already created, or tweaks to the user experience. But one thing is constant—we want to provide real solutions to real problems our customers face.

Introducing Ring Always Home Cam: One Camera, Every Viewpoint
Something I frequently hear from customers is “I have a few Indoor Cams from Ring, but sometimes I would leave the house and couldn’t remember if I’d left a window open and wished I had a camera there.” Instead of simply encouraging customers to buy more cameras and set them up in more locations around the home, how could we solve this problem with one solution? We wanted to create one camera that could give users the flexibility of every viewpoint they want around the home, while delivering on our founding principles of privacy and security.

That’s why I’m excited to announce the Ring Always Home Cam, a new way to look after the home and provide multiple viewpoints with one device. This autonomous indoor security camera flies your chosen, personalized paths so that you can easily check in on your home for peace of mind—like whether someone left a window open or forgot to turn the stove off.

The Ring Always Home Cam also easily integrates with Ring Alarm—our home security system—charting a new path forward not just for how people use security cameras, but also for the benefits of a home alarm system. When Ring Alarm is triggered while in Away Mode, the Always Home Cam will automatically fly a set path to see what’s happening. You can easily stream video while the camera is in-flight via the Ring App, making sure that you’re in the know when it comes to everything happening at home.

But bringing this device to life was no small feat. We knew we had to invent a completely new type of device that was able to move freely throughout the home to give more viewpoint flexibility. To do this, we needed to bring together best-in-class hardware and software technologies to create something no one else had done before and build on a foundation of privacy while moving safely throughout the home.

Designed with Privacy First: 

 

Developing a New Age in Whole-Home Security
Privacy and security are foundational to Ring, and underpin every product, feature, and service we develop. We think about privacy holistically—from product features and design, to how a customer ultimately uses that product in their everyday life—and Always Home Cam is no exception.

Always Home Cam was built with privacy top of mind both in the physical design and the way it is used. The device rests in the base and the camera is physically blocked when docked. The camera will only start recording when the device leaves the base and starts flying via one of the preset paths.

We even designed Always Home Cam to hum at a certain volume, so it’s clear the camera is in motion and is recording. This is privacy you can hear.

The set-up process for the Always Home Cam is also key to this foundation of privacy. When you go through the setup process and set your preferred flight paths, you are ensuring that the Always Home Cam will only fly where you want it to go. It cannot be manually controlled, ensuring that it will only record and see what is important to you.

Safety was also a primary consideration when designing the Always Home Cam. Obstacle avoidance technology allows it to avoid unexpected objects as it moves on the pre-set paths, and its small size, lightweight design and shrouded propellers enable it to move safely throughout the home.

The Future of Whole-Home Security is Her
Over the years, cameras have proven to be beneficial and a critical part of any home security system. We want to make it easy for our customers to be in control of their home security while maintaining privacy. Always Home Cam uses unique technologies to do that in a way that has never been done before and is affordable and easy-to-use for our customers.

I believe the Ring Always Home Cam will change how we think about home security and is proof of what can happen when we continue to push boundaries and bring together the best of privacy, innovative technology and design. We first did this with our flagship Video Doorbell, and I’m excited to see what ideas we will bring to life next.

The future is now… enjoy being always home.

As with other devices at this stage of development, Ring Always Home Cam has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. Ring Always Home Cam is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.

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