Ring, the Doorbell Company, Is Venturing Into Car Security
Now, almost any car can be a smart car. Get it?
If you look up and down your block, chances are that you'll find at least one neighbor sporting a Ring doorbell camera. The Amazon subsidy focused on home security products has cornered the industry, and now it's taking sight at your car with several all-new connected products meant to protect your vehicle and the valuables inside.
On Thursday, Ring announced three new offerings aimed at car owners concerned about their vehicle's security, including a two-way dash cam, standalone car alarm and a platform for automobiles with existing internet connectivity (like Tesla) where owners can view important details about their vehicle and store video footage from onboard cameras.
Ring Car Alarm
It doesn't get much more discrete than this. Ring's $60 Car Alarm is a watchdog in the form of a small dongle that you simply plug into your car's OBDII port. The device is equipped with sensors that monitor sound and movement in order to sense if a potential intruder is attempting to gain access to your vehicle.
If the car detects abnormal activity, it sends a push notification to any phone linked to it with the Ring app and enables the user to trigger a siren integrated into the device. It can also send audio alerts to any Alexa-enabled device as an added peace of mind.
Price: $59.99 (Launches later this year)
Ring Car Cam
The Ring Car Cam takes the duty of the Car Alarm and turns it up a notch. In addition to monitoring for bumps and attempted break-ins, the app also has a set of eyes inside and outside the cabin. The alerts triggered by the Car Cam will also enable users to take a look inside their car in real-time and determine exactly what is taking place. If necessary, they can even sound an alarm. The camera will also record any triggered events to review later.
You'll be relieved to know that the Car Cam keeps watch on the road, too, because we all know how handy dash cams can be.
But perhaps the most interesting feature included in Ring's new device is its emergency crash assistance. In addition to being a tool for first responders, the device also includes a Traffic Stop feature which begins a recording that is saved to Amazon's servers. To enable the feature, the driver simply has to say: "Alexa, I'm being pulled over"
Price: $199.99 (Launches in 2021)
Ring Car Connect
Ring is also bringing a service to already connected cars. For vehicles that are equipped with the necessary sensors and camera hardware, Ring will provide an integration that saves video footage directly to the cloud—no more pesky USB drive or SD cards to fumble around with.
The service also allows users to see important vehicle information, including if the doors are unlocked.
Ring says that it supports the Tesla Model S, X, 3, and Y as of today (which is perfect for Tesla's Sentry Mode), though any other automaker is able to natively integrate with the service moving forward if they so choose.
Price: $199.99 (Launches in 2021)
The Big Picture
Connected vehicles are the future. As consumers demand more convenience, vehicles will become more tied to internet-facing services we all know and use today, and, eventually to each other as well. But Ring's push towards vehicle-centric services is also key to Amazon's bigger plan for always-connected services called Sidewalk, and moving objects like cars make its integration into everyday life even easier as time goes on.
For drivers who don't care about the internet and just want their car to be a bit smarter, Ring's announcement is key. This is perhaps one of the most notable vehicle integrations to-date for any sort of connected security products, and perhaps forgives the blasphemy that is the Amazon Echo Auto.
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