A video doorbell announces to anyone that visits your home that you value your security. It’s a sign that any number of connected security products could be behind the door. Ones that alert and notify the occupants, whether they are there or not. Video doorbells also record, with many, sending that record to the cloud, with a subscription. Ring’s latest Video Doorbell Pro 2 was announced today, and it has some upgrades that should make it better than ever.
I recently installed a Ring Peephole Camera for my parents. They’re elderly, so I worry for their security, and I trust Ring’s products. I’ve had their video doorbell for quite some time, and the assurance it gives me before I even open the door cannot be underestimated. The new Video Doorbell Pro 2 adds features I wish I had right now.
As someone who receives packages almost daily, the new camera appealed to me the most. At first glance, the Video Doorbell Pro 2 doesn’t look any different than the previous Ring video doorbells. Inside is an improved ‘1536p’ sensor and lens that allow me to see a lot more of my front door. Up to 30 degrees further up and down. This allows me to see if someone dropped a package off for me more easily. Oftentimes, couriers will try to obscure packages from view, which can also obscure them from the view of regular cameras. This segues really nicely to another new feature which is the quick replies.
Working with Alexa, I can even ask my smart assistant to talk to the courier for me. She can even tell the courier to leave the package at the door with a series of customized quick replies. This is helpful when I’m not able to get to my phone or the door in time. The sound comes in loud and clear with a new array microphone setup that limits distortion. It also helps me hear guests more clearly, even when I’m not there.
The new 3D Motion Sensing technology is a feature that is a long time coming. Ring has been developing the hardware and software in the Video Doorbell Pro 2 for over three years. It’s based on radar technology integrated right into the doorbell to detect and identify objects and people better. Anyone who has frequently gotten alerts to their smartphone will love this.
Motion zones allow you to customize the areas you want detection active, and privacy zones allow you to block your neighbours’ house when recording. The new 3D Motion Detection more precisely identifies where motion is taking place in your zone. Once the motion reaches a certain threshold, which is calculated based on the camera’s distance, it will start recording. This threshold is also customizable based on your needs. If your dogs like to play in the front yard, setting the threshold to trigger closer to your home reduces false alarms. But the next piece of technology that Ring has integrated with the 3D Motion Detection zones is even cooler.
It’s easy to get alarmed when people come too close to your front door. That’s why a Ring video doorbell is great because it can give you a visual of who that person might be. But even if you can see that it’s your UPS driver, there might be other cases that the context isn’t so clear.
Working with the 3D Motion Detection feature in the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, the new Bird’s Eye View can identify where the motion occurred initially and then map it, by using the radar to track its distance from the camera. This is shown as a top-down map against your recording, like in the image above. It follows around this motion until it leaves your motion zone, creating a series of dots that give you a look at where they went while they were in the detection zone. Why is this important?
If your UPS driver came to your home to drop off a package, the path they take should be from the vehicle to your front door and then back to their vehicle. If they didn’t do this, the Birds Eye View would show where the courier went instead. So, if the motion leads to another part of your home, like your side gate, a window, or something else, it would give you this context. We don’t mean to pick on our UPS driver, but let’s say that it was another individual that came to your front door. If they made a mistake, they would go right back to their vehicle and leave. But, if they were casing out your home to break-in, the Birds Eye View would show their path. This information would be helpful to the police and the neighbourhood watch and would provide proof that this individual might be a threat. If you want to know more about how this all works together, Ring has an excellent blog post.
With all this additional data being captured, Ring has furthered its security with end-to-end encryption of its video stream. There have been several cases in the news where cameras seem to have been hacked. In reality, poor passwords and network security were at fault. Either way, it’s nice to know that they are taking steps to make things a little more foolproof.
To fully access recordings, you will need to have a Ring Protect Plan, which starts at $3.00 CAD a month or $30 CAD for the year. Other plans are available to cover all your Ring products at a discount.
The latest Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 will begin shipping on March 31st, 2021, and is available as a wired version only. We haven’t heard if all this new technology will be available in a wireless version, but we’ll keep you in the loop if that becomes a reality. It’ll be available for pre-order from Amazon Canada and Ring.com for $324.99 CAD. Expect to see it at other retailers shortly after.
I’m definitely excited about getting a hold of one of these to test out. The Birds Eye View looks useful, and I’m looking forward to a significant reduction in false alarms to my smartphone and smart assistants.
What do you think of this new Ring video doorbell? Do you think you’ll be upgrading? Leave us a comment below.