In the sleek collection of new products and services that Amazon announced this month – inclusive, one (it swings!), a and a – the is the device that generates buzz from both smart home fans and privacy advocates.
Wi-Fi security cameras are nothing new, but like last yearand ( and ), Always call home camera will combine familiar technology with a new feature with wildcards – in this case an indoor drone. Basically, it’s a security camera that flies from room to room inside your place, shooting video that it can then stream or upload to the cloud.
It may sound nice, but coming from a company that just this year met with public outcry over its policy of sharing users’ doorbell camera footage with police, Ring Always Home Cam raises more than just a few privacy issues, not least of which is how Amazon plans to protect people’s personal information . Here’s what we know so far.
Why did the Amazon ring build an indoor drone?
The ring prefers that you think of Always Home Cam as more like a “specially powered security camera” that happens to be mounted on a drone, rather than like a drone with a security camera. With that said, the idea is that you can capture surveillance footage of your entire house with just a security camera as pilots through your rooms. Also for the price (continue reading for more information) you can just as easily buy about 12.
How does it work?
You program a flight path by literally carrying the Ring Always Home Cam through your house, rather than controlling it with a remote control. Once it has learned the route, the camera can fly for up to five minutes before it has to be charged, which takes about an hour in the included dock. You can watch either a live stream of the Always Home Cam rounds in the Ring app or a recording saved in the Ring Cloud, which requires either a $ 3 per month subscription to cover a Ring device or $ 10 per month for each Ring device you own.
The unit operates with a ring alarm safety kit and should respond to unexpected activity while the system is set to “off” mode by leaving the bridge to fly around and see what happens. Amazon says that onboard “obstacle avoidance technology” prevents it from flying into unexpected obstacles. Instead, the drone will return to its jetty and notify the owner that it has encountered a problem.
How does Amazon handle security and privacy issues?
First, the Always Home Cam’s physical camera is covered when the device is docked, so it cannot record or stream video while it is charging. It should only start recording when it starts flying around your home, Amazon said. If it flies while someone is at home, Amazon says that the engine is designed to hum loud enough so that everyone in the same room will hear the drone pass by.
When the Always Home Cam goes on sale next year, Ring expects to have end-to-end encryption available for the device as well as its other security cameras (the feature is expected to roll out later this year). This means, at least in theory, that you and only you will be able to access your data (including video recordings) stored in Ring’s cloud.
When can I get it (and how much)?
Amazon says that the Ring Always Home Cam will be available “2021” and costs $ 250. It’s the same price as Ring’s motion-activated headlight camera and only $ 50 more than the Ring spotlight camera, both of which are stationary.
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