Gadgetry : The Ring™ Video Doorbell


By Albert Ornelas
DIGITAL MEDIA SPECIALIST

Everyone is talking about the Ring™ Video Doorbell, which works on any home—with or without a doorbell—and has been termed “caller ID for the front door.”

The Ring™ Video Doorbell has been all the rage lately because it gives users the ability to stream live HD video from the front of their homes and to see on their smartphones who is at their door. Because the Ring™ has an app that can send instant alerts when visitors press the doorbell or trigger the built-in motion sensors, users can always be the first to know when someone steps onto their property.

REALTORS® can use this device to discover what kind of neighborhood their property is in. Is there a constant stream of people coming and going, or are the surroundings quiet? The Ring™ can also become a conversation piece. As more people become aware of the Ring™, it is likely to be found at the homes of clients who are tech savvy, are into solar-powered products, and are proactive about home security.

The Ring™ Video Doorbell was invented by Jamie Siminoff from Southern California. When he shared his idea for the doorbell with his wife, she said, “This is like caller ID for the front door.” Although creating the product and bringing it to market took years, the desire to reduce crime in residential neighborhoods made the late nights and the seemingly endless hurdles bearable.

The Ring™—which is compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows 10—works on any home and comes with all the tools needed to install the device in just minutes. No professional help is required. Once installed, it can send alerts when visitors press the doorbell and trigger the motion sensors. The Ring™ has a built-in rechargeable battery but can be connected to any existing doorbell wiring for a nonstop charge.

In Los Angeles, the Ring™ was used in a pilot program that helped to reduce burglaries in one neighborhood by up to 50 percent. Before the program, the residents had been reporting one burglary every other week. And the Ring™ is being credited with the apprehension of package thieves across the United States.

The app for the Ring™ Video Doorbell connects to a user’s Apple or Android Smartphone. It gives users the convenience of a smart doorbell that streams audio and video to devices connected to Wi-Fi and cellular networks. This app features night-vision infrared LEDs, HD-camera-quality video, dual power capabilities, and advanced motion-detecting sensors, and sends recorded video to the Cloud if the user signs up for a recording plan.

Subscribing to a recording plan allows users to save videos to a Ring™ account for up to sixty days. Users can review the saved videos at any time on their smartphone, tablet, or PC with the Ring™ app. There is a free thirty-day trial for the Ring™ video recording plans, which range in price from $3 per month for the Basic Level to $10 per month for the Protect Level. There are no long-term contracts, and video doorbell customers can cancel their subscription at any time.

One complaint users consistently make online about the Ring™ is not being able to see or speak to someone right away from their smartphone because of the relatively slow speed of internet connectivity. To address this situation, the company has built Wi-Fi signal extenders. These products are the Chime and Chime Pro, which boost the network signal of the Ring™ and amplify the user’s Ring™ alerts. The Chime products are sold separately for $29.95 and $49.00, respectively.

The Ring™ also has a complement of products that are designed to provide a ring of security around a home. Among these products are two security cameras. One camera is the weather-resistant and wire-free Stick Up Cam, a motion-activated security camera that enables users to see, hear, and speak to anyone who is on their property.

The second security camera is the more sophisticated Floodlight Cam, which includes a motionactivated HD video security camera with built-in floodlights, a siren alarm, and two-way audio. The Floodlight Cam has object and facial detection and some of the most advanced motion sensors in home security. Users can link multiple cameras to one recording plan.

Also available is a new Solar Panel that connects to the Stick Up Cam and is designed to keep these battery-powered products fully charged. After a few hours of sunlight, the Cam will stay powered all day and all night. The makers of the Ring™ are designing products to become the Neighborhood Watch for the digital age. For more information about the Ring™ and its family of products, visit www.ring.com.