Ring’s newest security camera is a $249 autonomous indoor drone shipping in 2021 – TechCrunch
ring built its entire business on reinventing the doorbell – and now it’s taking a similar approach to the humble home security camera, with the Ring Always Home Cam, which will be available sometime next year. You can’t guess the name, but this security camera is indeed mobile: it’s a drone that flies autonomously around your home to give you the view you want in the room you want without the need to install video cameras in multiple locations your whole house.
The Always Home Cam is a small drone that can be scheduled to fly preset paths that you as the user set. The drone cannot be flown manually and does not begin recording until it is in flight (the camera lens is actually physically blocked while it is docked). According to the company, both functions help ensure that operations are carried out strictly in compliance with privacy. Always Home Cam is also purposely designed to create an audible hum while in use, alerting everyone present to the fact that they are actually moving and recording.
As you’d expect, the Always Home Cam doesn’t have the exposed rotors you would see on a drone designed for outdoor use in open spaces. It has a plastic rim and grilles enclosing these for safety reasons. It’s also small, at 5 “x 7” x 7 “, which is useful for personal and household safety.
I spoke to Ring’s founder and CEO, Jamie Siminoff, about why they decided to create such an ambitious, unorthodox home security camera – especially given their track record of relatively down-to-earth, tech-savvy versions of tried and tested home hardware like doorbells and spotlights. He said it actually came out of user feedback – something he still pays a lot of attention personally, even now that Ring is part of the larger corporate apparatus of Amazon . Siminoff said a lot of the feedback came from customers who wished they had either been home or could have seen when something specific happened in a specific location in their house, or that they wanted a camera for a specific room, but only for certain times – and then another camera in another room for others.
“It’s not practical to have a camera in every nook and cranny in every room in the house,” he said. “Even if you had unlimited resources, I think this is still not practical. What I love about the Always Home camera is that it really solves the problem of being one camera for everyone. So now you can see every corner of the house in every part of the house. “
Drones aren’t Ring’s primary business either, and yet the Always Home Cam will be available at the relatively low price of $ 249 once it becomes available, despite the technical challenges of developing a small aircraft that is safe and completely indoors can work autonomously. I asked Siminoff how Ring could achieve this award in a category outside of its core competency, with a completely custom design.
“As the technology has aged a bit, many of these parts fall in price,” he said. “There’s also a lot of price compression going on because automakers are now using a lot of these parts in higher volumes, because to have an autonomous drone you need some similar things as autonomous cars. It’s not exactly the same parts, of course, but all of those costs went down and we were able to take a new perspective. But I also challenged the team when we figured this had to be affordable. “
The Ring Always Home Cam also works with Ring’s existing line of products, including the Ring Alarm, to automatically fly a preset path when an alarm is triggered. You can then stream the video live to your mobile device using the Ring app. In many ways, it seems like a natural extension of the Ring ecosystem of products and services, but at the same time it also seems like something out of science fiction. I asked Siminoff if he thought consumers were willing to take this type of technology seriously as something that was part of their daily lives.
“I think it’s like something that’s way out there in a way,” he admitted. “What I love about it is that it happens when you just take away the limitations of linear thinking. I love that we do things by really looking backwards at the needs and what technology then exists and asking what can we build? It’s really exciting for me to be able to do something and shape something that comes first in the industry. “