Gadgets

Ring Revealed Dashcam With Traffic Stop Mode And Alexa Commands

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Ring’s Car Cam, Car Alarm, and Car Connect aim to increase driver and vehicle security and safety on the road and when you get pulled over.

Amazon subsidiary Ring is taking its first move into cars with the reveal of a trio of vehicle security products: the Ring Car Alarm, Ring Car Cam and Ring Car Connect.

Ring is known for its home security cameras, which includes the Ring Alarm system and its Ring Video Doorbell. Announced on Thursday — as part of a range of Amazon announcements — these are the company’s first automotive security gadgets.

Ring Car Connect

Ring Car Cam

The most highlightedfeatured product announced is the Ring Car Cam, a dual-camera dashcam which come with features powered by Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. It records video of the road and the car;s cabin as you drive along, which in the case of an unfortunate event — a fender bender — it can send to the cloud.

When a criticalimpact is identified, Emergency Crash Assistance is started and an audio call is made to a response center to determine if the driver is OK. Respond that you’re fine and no action is taken. Ask for help or fail to respond and emergency services are delivered to you. The system will also try to reachthe driver’s phone if it can’t get a response.

The Car Cam also has a Traffic Stop mode that can record communications with the police, saving the audio and video to the cloud. When being pulled over, drivers can say, “Alexa, I’m getting pulled over,” and the product will communicate that it’s recording and streaming the content to the cloud. Traffic Stop can also hint a list of driver-specified emergency contacts.

“Traffic stops can be a time when having video is important, so that everyone remains on their best behavior,” said Ring’s Head of Mobile Products Nathan Ackerman, in an interview with Roadshow. “So, we developed a feature to support that.”

The Car Cam is also on lookoutwhen parked, ready to turn on and record video if the sensors identify bumps or loud bangs. The owner is then notified and can choose whether to watch the video or sound the alarm. And because seldom you might not want a camera watching your every move, the Cam will feature “helpful privacy controls like a physical camera shutter to electronically disable the interior video and audio.”

“The Ring Car Cam is a part of the overall Ring system and I think ‘linked devices’ is a concept that’s really powerful here,” said Ackerman. “It’s not just a single camera; it’s a camera working with all of your Ring devices. So if an alarm trigger in your driveway it will turn on your house’s floodlights and the cameras on those floodlights. The Car Cam can work within the larger Ring system and connect all of your devices together.”

The Ring Car Cam will cost you around $200 and need an LTE subscription to upload video and access connected services. Subscription cost hasn’t been revealed yet, but Ring tells me that it will be “affordable” and can be added onto a current Ring package.

Ring Car Alarm

Ring Car Alarm

The basic of the 3 is the Ring Car Alarm, a gadget that plugs into the car’s onboard diagnostics (aka OBD2) port and it will use the sound and accelerometer sensors to watchthe vehicle for bumps, break-ins, even tows. If activated, a notification is given to the user and, if fancied, an onboard siren can be engaged. The Ring Car Alarm will cost you around $60 and will not need a paid subscription to use and receive notifications, It will work on Amazon’s Sidewalk IoT mesh network for low-bandwidth gadgets.

Ring also need the diagnostics port link so that the Alarm recognizes when the car is on the road and doesn’t sound the “I’m being towed!” siren while you’re actually driving the car. The regulated connection also guarantees that the gadget is powered when the car is turned off. However, that same OBD2 port outputs data about your car’s performance and your driving practices that the Ring Alarm could receive and report back to the Amazon, something to keep an eye on when you check for the device’s privacy settings.

Ring Car Connect

Ring Car Connect

Lastly, there’s the Ring Car Connect. This $200 device uses a vehicle’s built-in external cameras to record video in the event that something happens to the car while driving or even when parked. The first compatible vehicles for the Ring Car Connect will be the Tesla Model S, Model 3, Model X and Model Y, binding into those vehicles’ Sentry Mode cameras. Like the Cam, Car Connect posts real-time phone warnings to the owner of the car who can watch the recorded video footage and see vehicle details in the Ring app. Certain Ring Car Connect options will need an additional connectivity plan, the cose of which is yet to be revealed.

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