Throwing a complete curveball in the world of home surveillance, Ring has launched the Always Home Cam.
They seem to be coy about calling it a drone, but it is one. While it was inevitable drones would enter the consumer home surveillance market, I wasn’t expecting it so soon.
Ring was at the forefront of the smart doorbell camera market, while they still dominate it, many new brands are now competing aggressively. Then their smart alarm and indoor-outdoor cameras all compete in a highly competitive market again brands such as Arlo, Eufy, and even Bling, which is also owned by Amazon.
So the launch of this camera propels Ring in front of the competition with a product that no one else is likely to offer in the near future.
Admittedly, an automated drone flying around the inside of your home sounds like it could be a disaster waiting to happen. I’m sure there will be plenty of YouTube videos of dogs or cats trying to attack the drone as it launches.
Minor pet-related concerns aside, this seems like a pretty good deterrent for burglars who have successfully entered your property, or at least for you to be able to check your property when an alarm is triggered.
How it works
This isn’t some patrolling security drone from dystopian nightmares, the only time it launches if it is triggered. It fully integrates with the Ring Alarm system.
When the drone detects motion, or when any of your other Ring Alarm sensors or cameras emit an alert, the drone will fly on a preset path to check in the vicinity of the alert for the source of the disturbance.
Its flight time is limited to around 5-minutes, which should be more than enough for most homes, with 1 minute being the average flight time.
Due to the complexities of an automated indoor drone with a 5-minute flight time, you will be restricted to using this on one floor.
The nihilist in me wants to see this crashing around into things and causing havoc, but it should be safe to use, even with cats. The drone has obstacle avoidance technology, which will prevent it from crashing into anything, and Amazon knows a thing or two about automated drones.
The drone itself is only tiny being 13mm x 13mm x 18mm so it is unlikely to damage anything in the unlikely event it bashing into anything (or a cat jumps on it).
I have discussed the various PR issues Ring has faced in my Doorbell 3 Plus review. In short, they have addressed the problems they have faced.
With the Ring Always Home Cam, this is, even more, privacy orientated, the camera can only report data when it is in motion. When it is docked, the camera is physically covered, being inside the dock.
Price and Availability
You would expect something so futuristic to be a premium-priced product, but with a launch price of $249 it is very reasonably priced, matching the cost of the Floodlight Cam.
Sadly, there is no word on UK availability.