Amazon’s Ring today unveiled a series of new products including the Door View Cam for live video from the peephole of your front door, as well as new outdoor lighting and sensors made for motion detection or amplifying security alarms.
Different than video doorbells today, which can sometimes focus on the side view or below the person at your front door, peepholes are directly in the center of a door. That means the Ring Door View Cam will be well-suited to get fully visible images and video of the face of any visitor.
The Door View Cam is Ring’s fifth video doorbell, and though none use facial recognition software today, Amazon took some criticism in recent months for filing two patents that propose use of facial recognition software to identify suspicious people and call police. Google’s Nest Hello video doorbell uses facial recognition software to spot the faces of people you know.
Door View Cam will be responsive to voice commands from Alexa and send alerts and video to a user’s smartphone or Amazon’s Echo Show smart display.
A camera for the peephole also allows people who live in apartments or rental properties to consider a digital doorbell.
Door View Cam requires no wires or drilling for installation, and it includes sensors that do things like alert you if someone is knocking at the door. Smart Alerts can mute motion sensor alerts based on whether kids are playing near the front door or other instances that can seem like a false alarm.
The Door View Cam will be sold for $199 in the U.S. later this year, and will be made available in countries across Europe in places like Finland, France, Germany, Spain, and Sweden.
Also making its debut today: a series of wired and battery-powered outdoor light fixtures; the Ring Bridge ($49.99) for coordinating actions between multiple light fixtures and sensors; and Ring Transformer ($99.99) for enabling older-generation outdoor lighting fixtures to function like smart lights.
There’s also the battery-powered Steplight ($17.99), made for stair lighting, and Pathlight, for showing the way for entrance paths. The Ring Motion Sensor ($24.99) can also be paired with a light or camera to trigger actions.
Ring’s new series of smart lights go on sale March 6.
No information was provided about the length of time battery-powered light fixtures or the Door View Cam are expected to last on a set of batteries.
Last year, motion sensors were added to Alexa Routines so you can carry out custom actions when a sensor or camera detects motion, such as playing the news or your favorite playlist on an Echo speaker.
Also introduced today were a series of sensors made to connect with the Ring Alarm base station, such as the Dome Siren ($30), which flashes lights and makes noise any time a security event is detected, and Flood and Freeze ($35) sensors that can be placed near water sources in a home.
Additional lighting and sensor options were made available to support Ring’s emphasis on safety, which has been a part of the company’s focus since the Santa Monica, California-based company was acquired by Amazon in early 2018 for $1 billion.
Ring claims that its video doorbells, Ring Neighborhoods plan, and now its smart lighting can reduce crime. Analysis by MIT Tech Review of this claim related to its video doorbells found this statement to be flimsy at best.