Amazon Ring has announced a new home security camera that can virtually let you walk around the house when you're not around. Ring Always Home Cam is mounted on a sort of drone that can fly on a preset path to check for intruders, open windows or ovens left on. Is it worth it or could it be a problem?
Amazon Ring: A few years ago it started as a simple video doorbell, it has become a real home security empire. In the US, there are Ring cameras for indoors and outdoors, peepholes, alarm systems, even panic buttons. But no matter how many cameras you have looking at your home and yard, you'll always miss a point. To fill that gap, Ring has now unveiled the Always Home Cam.
A silly name for a clever idea
In essence Ring Always Home Cam is a camera mounted on a small drone, which can buzz around your house to check for intruders or more mundane things like windows left open or lights left on. Last January I told you about a similar product coming to the outdoors, Bee. Amazon did it sooner and better in my view. Users can watch through the Ring app wherever they are. The drone can then be paired with the Ring Alarm system so it can investigate when something triggers the alarm.
Obviously, this idea raises some eyebrows (one of my two, because I am like that: a little and a little). Ring, of course, guarantees everyone that no privacy catastrophe is about to happen. First, users have to set flight paths in advance and Ring Always Home Cam cannot be controlled manually, limiting the view any potential hacker gets. Have I seen too many films myself, or is it not certain that a hacker will not be able to hijack this thing where he wants?
When the drone is in its housing, the camera is physically locked. Don't worry, then: that little eyelid eye doesn't peek. Maybe. For Hitchcock lovers: no, it's not a cross between “Birds” and “Psycho”, it won't surprise you in the shower. Or at least you will hear it coming, because in flight it is quite noisy.
Ring Always Home Cam, the guardian drone of the house
The most important function in the end is the one you have under your eyes: it is a drone designed to fly in an enclosed environment. Not cheap things. The propellers are covered, does not fear shocks and has an integrated technology that makes it avoid obstacles. Even when they are people.
Even the biggest possible problem is under our eyes. Think about it for a second: Ring recently signed partnership with police forces in some US cities. Under certain circumstances, the company may give access to people's private video and audio streams recorded by their Ring devices. Sure the company insists that users will always have to give permission before their data is shared, but this "flying eye" looking around the house is a bit like Big Brother. And a little bit also Brunga, for those who remember the Japanese cartoon Chobin (boing boing boing).