Ring’s Always Home Cam: security drone in the house?

What if you left a drone to guard the inside of your home while you were away?

Well; now you can – at least according to smart home security company, Ring.

Amazon’s subsidiary – whose founder Jamie Siminoff invented the video door bell – has launched a miniature drone that was designed to make rounds around the inside of homes, showing owners whether they left the window open, left the fridge door open, or forgot to turn off the stove. The drone – which Ring has dubbed the Ring Always Home Cam – will not close the window or turn the stove off for you, but at least it will show you the state of your home while you are away.

“We wanted to create one camera that could give users the flexibility of every viewpoint they want around the home, while delivering on our founding principles of privacy and security,” said Siminoff. “That’s why I’m excited to announce the Ring Always Home Cam, a new way to look after the home and provide multiple viewpoints with one device. This autonomous indoor security camera flies your chosen, personalised paths so that you can easily check in on your home for peace of mind – like whether someone left a window open or forgot to turn the stove off.”

Siminoff added that the small drone can be integrated with the Ring Alarm, which when triggered, will also trigger the Always Home Cam to fly out of it charging port and check what is happening, with an option for the home owner to get live footage via the Ring app.

But no sooner was the new home security system announced than tech geeks in the USA fall over each other in slating the innovation as another device to impede on people’s privacy.

British civil liberties and privacy campaign organisation, Big Brother Watch called it Amazon’s most chilling surveillance product yet, while tech magazine Gizmodo condemned the $250 new tech as an indoor spy drone, albeit without the support of evidence on why they gave it a low mark even before trying it. Just the fact that it was ring was trying to smuggle a drone indoors under the cover of it being a security system was enough to raise suspicion.

Wired described the idea of an in-house drone surveillance system as “crazy.”

Is a drone in the home really this scary?

“Today’s biggest “nope” award goes to another Ring product: The new Ring Always Home Cam,” Wired declared. “For $249, this flying drone for inside your home (did we mention it’s for inside your home?) can be yours. But don’t worry, Amazon assures us; it’s built with “privacy in mind.” It only records when it’s flying around your home, and it’s loud enough so that you know it’s nearby. Otherwise it sits there quietly on its dock, the camera deactivated. Wait for its command to just … take flights and record inside your home again.”

We really do not have to spell it out for you that Wired do not believe that the always home camera will just lie idle in its port until called into action, do we? We live in a world that has been super-sensitised towards privacy and we get triggered each time we suspect tech companies are looking to strip us further.

We should blame the tech companies, we guess. Is there any place safe anymore on this earth?

To be fair, Siminoff did highlight that his creation was made mindful that privacy concerns might arise; and he had a plan for that.

He said; “Always Home Cam was built with privacy top of mind both in the physical design and the way it is used. The device rests in the base and the camera is physically blocked when docked. The camera will only start recording when the device leaves the base and starts flying via one of the preset paths.

“We even designed Always Home Cam to hum at a certain volume, so it’s clear the camera is in motion and is recording. This is privacy you can hear.”


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