Amazon's love affair with drones has apparently been passed down to its home security company Ring. During today's Amazon event, Ring announced the new Always Home Cam, an autonomous indoor drone that flies around your home and gives you a live, mobile feed of your home if it spots an intruder or emergency.
The drone will sell for $249 (roughly £200, AU$350, though we don't have international pricing or availability yet) and launches sometime in 2021. It cannot be flown manually; however, you can create preset surveillance paths from one room to the next, so you can choose which rooms in your home are guarded.
The drone reportedly has a battery life of five minutes, and is only meant to make one-minute trips (on average) before returning to its hub to recharge. But during its frequent flights, you'll get 1080p footage of your home, which should be crisp enough to let you see if you locked the door or turned off the stove, remotely through the Ring app.
If you want to see the drone in action, check out the (rather silly) Ring video ad below. Corny acting aside, it gives you a glimpse of how the drone behaves and the clarity of the cam's video feed while in flight.
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Once docked, the drone's camera feed is blocked, and while in flight the drone emits an audible noise to alert you. This way, you'll never have to worry about the drone recording while you're unaware.
The Always Home Cam also has obstacle avoidance technology, which will prevent it from crashing into anything (or anyone). If it did, the drone is reportedly a mere 5 x 7 x 7 inches, and has grills to block the propellers, so it's unlikely to do much damage.
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.
A security camera replacement?
Indoor security cameras from most companies, including Ring, have a 1080p resolution and a field-of-view (FOV) somewhere in the 100º–145º range. Some even pan and tilt. But none of them can get up and fly around to find a burglar.
To fully protect a home, you need multiple security cams for each room. This might make the Always Home Cam enticing, since it can guard multiple rooms at once.
However, the fact that it only flies for up to five minutes at a time, and spends most of its time docked, shows that it won't replace a home security system that offers 24/7 motion detection. It's much more likely to augment it, double-checking any blind spots and helping to check rooms where you don't want a permanent camera feed.
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Michael Hicks began his freelance writing career with TechRadar in 2016, covering emerging tech like VR and self-driving cars. Nowadays, he works as a staff editor for Android Central, but still writes occasional TR reviews, how-tos and explainers on phones, tablets, smart home devices, and other tech.