Ring didn’t have a big slate of new products at CES, but the two standouts take things in new directions. Starting with the Car Cam, Ring is now entering the driver’s seat, or at least the dashboard. The Car Cam is a connected camera peering straight into the cabin of your vehicle to keep an eye on it when you’re not inside.
If you’re guessing this is an anti-theft device, you would be right. Place the Car Cam in the middle of the dash close to the windshield where its ultra-wide lens can see the cabin. Mind you, there’s a camera on the other side to keep a lookout on the road too. This dual cam setup means you have a sense of security in both directions.
How the Ring Car Cam works
The way it works is that it runs off power from your vehicle’s OBD-II (onboard diagnostic) port, which you will find under the steering wheel near the latch for your hood. You would have to snake the cable to hide it for a cleaner look, but in any case, the camera will stay on while the car is running, and then run off little power from the port unless it detects movement when it’s sitting idle with the engine off.
It stays connected via built-in LTE to communicate with your phone to see a live feed through the Ring app. In the event a thief steals your car, the Car Cam would begin recording the moment they tried to open the door. If they disable the camera in any way, it will send that recording to the app straightaway. The same happens in case of a collision or fender bender. It’s designed to alert you and your selected contacts on the app if something happens.
The camera also has its own speaker and microphone, enabling the driver inside to communicate after a real-time alert comes up. With Alexa also built-in, you can tell the Car Cam when to record. Say you’re pulled over or feel have been hit by someone on the road, you can voice the command and it will record on both cameras.
Basically, what we’re looking at is a dual-view dash cam. The LTE connection requires a monthly subscription and it won’t matter which wireless carrier you’re with. It has no connection to your phone plan as a secondary device. Ring arranged the connection with carriers, much like connected cars with LTE often do.
The Always Home Cam drone is back
Ring introduced the Always Home Cam during the pandemic but it wasn’t ready to launch at the time. It’s still not ready, though I did get to see it in action. The autonomous drone flew itself in a small room, able to navigate around it and through a doorway. Other than taking off and landing in its charging basin, it didn’t do anything else of significance.
It appeared to be stable. I just don’t know what image stabilization and quality are like while it moves. We know little about how good it would be in avoiding obstacles in a home or how it might drive pets crazy, for instance. Windows and mirrors could prove tricky for the onboard sensors. Not to mention it’s loud, as I could hear it through the glass and in spite of the general chatter and ambient noise on the show floor. It looks cool, but we will have to wait to see what happens with it.
Car Cam coming soon
That won’t be until 2024 at the earliest for the Always Home Cam. Ring isn’t committing to an exact timeframe, other than to say it won’t be coming in 2023. As for the Car Cam, that’s already on the move to come out in February 2023. Take a look at all of Ring’s products in home safety and security, and see the latest tech coming out of CES 2023.
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