Amazon recently announced a drone for recording security video inside homes and car products for alerting vehicle owners about attempted break-ins. The news reflects Amazon’s growing security business since its acquisition of the smart doorbell maker Ring in 2018. It also represents Amazon’s latest push into shoppers’ homes, which evolved from package delivery years ago to gadgets that let consumers turn off the lights or stream media by voice command.
Amazon’s indoor drone, the $249 Ring Always Home Cam available next year, aims to capture video where customers otherwise lack static cameras. It can show users video where an alarm has gone off, said Amazon Vice President Daniel Rausch.
The new Always Home Cam is an autonomous drone that can fly around inside your home 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.
The Always Home Cam is fully autonomous, but owners can tell it what path it can take and where it can go. 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 such as the kitchen or bedroom. The drone can be commanded to fly on-demand or programmed to fly when a disturbance is detected by a linked Ring Alarm system.
The charging dock blocks the camera’s view, and the camera only records when it is in flight. Ring says the drone makes an audible noise when flying so it is obvious when footage is being recorded.
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.
It’s easy to say this is by far Ring’s most ambitious product yet, and it will be very interesting to see if it actually works as promised. We’ll have to wait until next year to find out, though.
The company also announced a car security device for $60. Ring Car Alarm, that sounds an alarm when a break-in or bump is detected. It unveiled a vehicle security camera, and the Ring Car Connect software that works with other vehicle cameras for video playback and alerting. Tesla is the first automaker whose models are compatible. Amazon also launched a similar security-focused car dashcam, the $200 Ring Car Cam.