Ring's latest video doorbell is a removable peep show
Ring basically popularized the video doorbell, but they aren't for everybody – maybe you're renting the place and can't wire in a permanent device. But at CES this week the company is shooting for those people with the new Ring Door View Cam. This new battery-powered unit is designed to slot into an existing peephole, so it can be easily installed and removed later.
Generally, the Door View Cam functions much the same way as the rest of Ring's video doorbell lineup. When visitors press the button, it pings a connected smartphone or tablet, bringing up a full HD video stream of the front doorstep and opening a two-way voice chat. These recordings can also be saved, so if you miss a notification you can check it later.
But the difference with the new model is that it isn't a separate unit installed next to the door, in place of the usual doorbell. The Door View Cam is made to replace the peephole that's already in many doors. The entire device isn't contained in that small hole, mind you – the rectangular box on the outside looks more or less the same as all the others – but that's how it stays in place. And if you prefer things low-tech sometimes, it can still function like a regular old peephole too.
The Door View Cam is powered by a removable, rechargeable battery that stays on the inside of the door. That said, Ring doesn't specify how long the battery life is or how long it takes to charge it up again, both of which are important factors in how practical the device is.
From its new perch on the door rather than next to it, the Door View Cam can use an impact sensor to detect when visitors forgo the bell and knock instead. And if anybody's trying to hide their presence the motion sensors will pick them up, which should deter would-be burglars or package thieves.
So you don't get an endless stream of notifications from passing cars or wandering cats, Ring is releasing a new Smart Alerts system during the year that can determine what kind of motion has set it off and weed out the false alarms.
To cap it off, the Door View Cam is also compatible with Alexa. Users can ask "show me my front door" and even talk to visitors through Echo speakers.
The Ring Door View Cam will be available in the US and parts of Europe sometime in 2019 for US$199. Check it out in action in the video below.