Ring's mission is to "reduce crime in neighborhoods" – and its latest product, the Ring Door View Cam, is designed so that renters and homeowners alike can secure their dwellings with a smart security camera.
The Door View Cam, which we saw in person at January's CES 2019 convention, is now available to buy in the US and UK for a recommended retail price of $199 / £179 – there's no word yet on an Australian price, but that works out at around AU$290 based on current conversion rates.
The Door View Cam works like Ring’s previous doorbell cameras, but instead of replacing your doorbell it replaces your front door’s peephole.
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Thanks to a drill-free installation process, the Door View Cam is suitable for renters who can't make any permanent modifications to their front door.
Ring says that to install it you just need to "remove the existing peephole, install the Door View Cam in its place on each side of the door, pop in the rechargeable battery and the removable cover, and you will have transformed your old peephole into a smart security camera".
Completely wire-free, thanks to a battery that sits on the inside of your door, the Ring Door View Cam lets you view live video streams and HD recordings of your doorstep in 1080p resolution.
When someone interacts with your door, you get real-time notifications sent to your smartphone via the Ring app – this even works if visitors choose to knock instead of pressing the doorbell button integrated into the Door View Cam itself, thanks to knock-detection sensors.
According to Ring, you can also issue compatible Alexa-enabled devices commands like "show me my front door", as well as being alerted by your smart speaker "when motion is detected by the Ring Door View Cam in real time".
Feel like you'd miss your regular peephole? Ring says the Door View Cam includes a glass viewer, so the functionality of a conventional peephole is retained – after all, not every member of the household will want to interact with a smart security camera every time the doorbell rings.
If you share a hallway with others, and you're worried about invading the privacy of your neighbors, you can set up 'privacy zones', so the camera blacks out specified zones that are in the camera's field of view.
You can also turn off the audio capture functionality, so that you don't inadvertently listen in on your neighbors' conversations.
It's no surprise that Ring is emphasizing the privacy features of the new security camera; the Amazon-owned company came under fire earlier this year when a report by The Intercept (opens in new tab) claimed that Ring gave its employees full access to its customers' live camera feeds, inside and outside the home.
Ring responded, claiming the report was 'factually inaccurate', but did admit that "in order to improve our service, we view and annotate certain Ring video recordings".
It added: "These recordings are sourced exclusively from publicly shared Ring videos from the Neighbors app (in accordance with our terms of service), and from a small fraction of Ring users who have provided their explicit written consent to allow us to access and utilize their videos for such purposes. Ring employees do not have access to livestreams from Ring products."
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