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Ring’s updates make its devices and app smarter and more efficient

Ring security systems are getting a slew of improvements, many via updates to the app that helps customers monitor activity around doorsteps, porches and other locations equipped with Ring doorbells and cameras.

Several of the features announced apply primarily to Ring customers who subscribe to a Ring Protect Plan, which enables storage of recording triggered by motion near a Ring doorbell or webcam. These innovations should make it easier to monitor a home and also make Ring devices more energy efficient.

Available now is a camera preview feature that provides recent images from all Ring devices on one screen. If you see something you wish to investigate further, you simply click on that image to get a dashboard view of the device that captured it.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

A timeline feature, scheduled to begin rolling out in November, will allow customers to scroll through recordings on a color-coded timeline, which should help them figure out what happened where and when.

Ring also announced a suite of Smart Alert features designed to make alerts to Ring Protect subscribers more relevant and improve battery life of devices by using cloud-based video analysis to reduce recordings triggered by false alarms. The initial set of Smart Alert features, expected to appear in early 2019, include:

  • Motion Verification: New to battery-powered Ring devices, this feature is specifically designed to reduce false alarms.
  • Motion Stop: If activity is deemed unimportant, Ring devices will stop recording.
  • Person Detection: Video analysis will be able to tell whether a person, animal or item is causing motion, and customers can choose to ignore motion instigators that don’t interest them.
  • Motion Zones: Also new to battery-powered devices, this feature lets customers designate areas they wish to monitor closely.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Also in the works for 2019:

  • Live Camera Previews: When a Ring device detects motion of concern, it will immediately begin streaming live images to the Ring app dashboard.
  • Audible Announcements: Wired Ring devices will be able to issue voice alerts through their speaker, telling people they are being monitored.
  • Timestamps: Ring Protect Plan subscribers will be able to put date and time on shared video recordings.
  • Bulk downloads: Ring Protect Plan subscribers will be able to download all of their recordings from with just a few clicks.

Ring also plans to offer Protect Plan subscribers the option of continuous recording from wired devices for an additional fee. All customers will have access, free of charge, to still images captured throughout the day during gaps between motion-triggered recordings.

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Denny Arar
A longtime PC World/TechHive editor and contributor, Denny Arar (a.k.a. Yardena Arar) has also written for The New York…
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