Amazon has been long developing delivery drones. However, Amazon-owned security company Ring announced an indoor drone in 2020. The $250 drone has garnered some serious attention. The whole package is a ‘drone in a box’ system. Called the Always Home Cam is essentially a flying intelligent CCTV. The drone does pack some level of autonomy and a bunch of other cool features. However, privacy is another concern that remains synonymous with such a technology.
Autonomous Home Surveillance
The Always Home Cam consists of two parts – the body which houses and charges the drone, and the camera drone. The drone’s propellers are enclosed in a protective cage while a trunk is extended beneath it for the camera module. The extended trunk docks into the base station. According to the company, this design helps hide away the camera when not in use.
The drone cannot be manually controlled. Instead, it flies on preset paths around the house. It maps your home by exploring it. The system uses motion detection sensors to gather data. If any motion is detected in a specific part of the house, the drone flies there to stream the live feed directly to your smartphone. Additionally, the drone can be set to work with Ring Home Alarm System. Thus, when the alarm goes off, the drone is activated and it scouts the house on the preset path.
“Instead of simply encouraging customers to buy more cameras and set them up in more locations around the home, how could we solve this problem with one solution? We wanted to create one camera that could give users the flexibility of every viewpoint they want around the home while delivering on our founding principles of privacy and security,” said Ring founder Jamie Siminoff
While Ring states that the camera is stowed away when the drone is docked for privacy, there is still uncertainty among people. Having a camera drone flying autonomously around your home without being able to directly control it is pushing the boundaries of privacy. While Amazon maintains a robust cloud security system, there have been lapses.
Unauthorized access to private data from systems like the Always Home Cam can be incredibly invasive. Not to mention, when it comes to digital privacy, government agencies have the first say in it. Therefore, Ring’s drone could act as an autonomous surveillance tool in warranted circumstances. Amazon had indicated a 2021 release but as of now a release date hasn’t been finalized.