When I first saw the Ring video doorbell at CES in 2015 I knew it was a cracking great idea, but only recently have I had the chance to install one at home and really give it a good test – and the concept, theory and product are some of the best Smart Home technologies available.
The idea is rather simple. Place a video camera at your front door, allow it to detect motion in the area and send notifications of that motion or indeed the pressing of the doorbell associated with the camera to your smartphone.
Take it one step further and allow the person with the smartphone to then see in real-time who is at the door, and for you to use the microphone in your smartphone to actually talk and have a two-way conversation with the person at your door.
This is very useful when you are busy in the kitchen, perhaps getting ready for bed, perhaps you’re still in bed! But even more so when you’re not even at home.
As someone who receives a fair few deliveries this is a big deal for me. Rather than missing a courier, and waiting for re-delivery or pickup, I can talk to the courier and ask that an item be left for me. In many cases this is totally possible, but not if you can’t answer the door.
Setup is in theory simple. Download an app, press a button and get the WiFi connected. I had some, frankly many issues getting this happening. Now I change WiFi routers regularly, so I’m going to put the blame there on my network configuration as I’ve not seen any other reported issues.
My one real feedback on the product is the button itself, I’ve had a lot of “Motion detected” where there was someone there. Seems they aren’t pressing the button hard enough. It’s a strange feeling and is a touch “wobbly” so can seem like you’ve pressed it when you haven’t fully.
Other than that, its $299 – not cheap at all. Is it worth it? If you’ve got no other security cameras or monitoring – yes, heck yes. If you have other solutions in place this could be overkill.
That said, I can’t imagine a better smart-home product for the simple demonstration of how an internet connected device can change the way we do things!