Amazon’s hardware event has come and gone, and it has delivered a lot of announcements, including new Echo smart speakers, an all-new cloud gaming platform, and a flying camera drone from Amazon’s home security brand, Ring.
The Ring Always Home Cam can literally undock, hover into a given room, and record footage of any activity, including a break-in for example.
Amazon’s Ring New Drone
Depending on your point of view, Ring’s new drone cam could be a symbol of a shining, robotic feature, or it could be harbinger of darker days ahead.
Ring insists its new camera is secure and private, so users won’t have to worry about it. However, regardless of their assurance, the Always Home Cam is a bad precedent, according to The Verge.
The trade-off at the core of most privacy debates pits convenience against access to your data. The idea is, the more data you let a tech giant access, the better they can help you, according to The New York Times.
Google’s services, from Google Maps to Gmail, are the perfect examples of this trade-off at work. Google says it can serve up results, from ads to restaurant recommendations, informed in part by what it knows about your preferences.
A lot are asking, why should anyone purchase a product that erodes their own privacy and that of their community for something only very mildly convenient.
Minor convenience is what the drone deals in. You get five minutes of battery life, which means that you will have enough time to check on sounds of entry in the case of a break-in, or more likely, to double-check your stove to make sure you turned it off or your dog to make sure they are okay.
In the unlikely case of a burglary, a lot is asking if the camera-equipped drone can change the outcome and prevent more from happening.
Will it be a more effective deterrent than an alarm or significantly more likely to identify the intruder than a couple of indoor or outdoor smart cams strategically aimed at points of entry. The answer is definitely no.
Counting the Cost
The cam’s cost isn’t just $250. It is your privacy as well. The camera is blocked while it is docked, and the drone only patrols when you tell it to.
However, Amazon has been systematically extending the independence and reach of its home technology, making Alexa, in particular, more proactive and predictive.
Alexa Guard and Guard Plus listen for a wide range of noises like footfalls and glass breaking, and Amazon is expanding the voice assistant’s ability to respond to such noises, including babies crying, people snoring, dogs barking, and more.
But such features only raise more questions, and serious ones at the. Ring has partnered with hundreds of police forces across the country in efforts to reduce the crime, although as CNET has reported, the evidence suggests that such cooperation does not reduce the crime rate at all.
Along the way, experts have raised alarms at the ethical slippage occurring, coordinated video surveillance, curated by Amazon and even partially accessible to police, represents a major blow to privacy.
Last year, reports said that Amazon’s drone is very useful to the Los Angeles police.
Amazon also released their mailbox security that alerts you when the mailbox is opened.
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Written by Sophie Webster
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