Amazon's Flying Indoor Security Camera

Amazon’s Flying Indoor Security Camera Will Be at Least Three Years Late

Ring’s autonomous indoor security drone, the Always Home Cam, made its public debut this week at CES. We never saw it take off or land, though, because it was flying in a room that was otherwise empty and hiding behind a glass door in between flights. Although impressive, the demo demonstrates how unlikely it is that you will soon see a Ring indoor security camera patrolling your living room.

Ring has yet to provide a new release date for the security camera, despite announcing preorders (by invitation only) and shipping to customers’ homes in 2021. “We are looking forward to — in the next short future — shipping it out to customers at high volume,” founder Jamie Siminoff told The Verge in an interview. The earliest we could anticipate it to be widely available, he added, was in 2024.

The expense and complexity of dealing with adaptation to every conceivable scenario in a home are proving to be a significant obstacle. “It is literally an autonomous flying vehicle in your home,” he says. “The phrase “devil is in the details” applies heavily to this situation.”

Also challenging is producing it at a level that appeals to consumers. Siminoff says it will cost $249.99, but “if it was a $2,000 product, we could put the sensors on it today, and it would be fine.” It has also been challenging to get it to operate consistently in homes with a lot of windows and mirrors—which is to say, the majority of them.

The lidar sensors the Always Home Cam uses for navigation can’t easily “see” mirrors and windows — they need a reflection of a wall in the glass to determine space, says The demonstration space had three walls, one sizable window, and Siminoff. The drone would probably be flying into the windows if there had been only one wall and three windows.

Siminoff did mention that Ring has been working on a feature where the camera won’t move if it’s unsure of its position. In that case, it would simply land instead of making an attempt to get back to its starting point.

The flying camera is a drone that essentially incorporates the technology of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2. It is compact and made to be an autonomous indoor security camera that can fly through your house looking for problems or checking whether the stove is still on.

Since it is fairly audible, you can always tell when it is flying and there is no chance that it will surprise you. Even with all of the background noise from the show floor, I could clearly hear it through the glass door of the demo room.

The camera only follows the paths you specify after using lidar sensors to map out your house (under your supervision). It only records when in flight and docks in a small “basket” to charge, where its camera lens is blocked.

Siminoff told The Verge that when it is generally available, the plan is to sell it in conjunction with It only takes flight when Ring Alarm, the company’s home security system, is set to the armed position. “It’s not supposed to be flying when there’s anyone home,” he says. “The Astro robot is available for that.” Astro is a camera-equipped autonomous robot that travels around your house on wheels rather than wings. Although it costs $1,000 and isn’t yet widely available, you can sign up for an invitation to buy it, and some customers have already received their orders.

Along with the demo, The Verge got some hands-on time with the Always Home Cam and a few of the additional products that Ring displayed at CES. Therefore, since it will be some time before you can get your hands on one, watch our video for a sneak peek.

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