Amazon’s hardware event has concluded, and the company announced a slew of new products, including new Echo smart speakers, an all-new cloud gaming platform, and a flying camera drone from Amazon’s home security brand, Ring.
The Ring Always Home Cam can literally detach from its docking station, hover in a specific room, and record footage of any activity, such as a break-in.
Amazon’s Ring New Drone
Depending on your perspective, Ring’s new drone cam might be a sign of a bright, robotic future, or a portent of doom.
Ring maintains that their new camera is secure and private, so customers need not fear. Regardless of their assurances, the Always Home Cam establishes a dangerous precedent, according to The Verge.
The central trade-off in the majority of privacy arguments is between convenience and access to your data. The notion is that the more data you give a digital giant, the more effectively they can assist you, according to The New York Times.
Google’s services, from Google Maps to Gmail, exemplify this trade-off in action. Google asserts that it is capable of serving up results ranging from advertisements to restaurant recommendations based in part on what it knows about your interests.
Many are asking why anyone would acquire a device that erodes their personal and their community’s privacy for something that is only marginally convenient.
The drone specializes on minor conveniences. You receive five minutes of battery life, which means you’ll have enough time to check for signs of entry in the event of a break-in, or, more likely, to double-check that you switched off your stove and checked on your dog.
In the improbable event of a theft, many are wondering if the camera-equipped drone can alter the outcome and prevent further incidents.
Will it be a more effective deterrent than an alarm or much more likely to identify the burglar than a pair of strategically placed inside or outdoor smart cameras at entrance points? Without a doubt, the answer is no.
Counting the Cost
The camera does not come cheap at $250. Additionally, it is your privacy. While parked, the camera is blocked, and the drone patrols only when instructed.
Amazon, on the other hand, has been steadily increasing the autonomy and reach of its home technologies, making Alexa in particular more proactive and predictive.
Alexa Guard and Guard Plus listen for a variety of noises, such as footsteps and glass breaking, and Amazon is improving the voice assistant’s capacity to respond to these and other sounds, such as babies crying, people snoring, and dogs barking.
However, such qualities simply serve to raise further, and significant, concerns. Ring has worked with hundreds of police departments around the country in an effort to curb crime, despite the fact that, as CNET noted, the research suggests that such collaboration has no effect on crime rates.
Along the way, experts have expressed concern about the ethical lapses that have occurred; coordinated video monitoring, selected by Amazon and made partially accessible to law enforcement, represents a significant blow to privacy.
According to reports from last year, Amazon’s drone is quite valuable to the Los Angeles police.
Additionally, Amazon announced their mailbox security, which notifies you when your mailbox is opened.