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Amazon’s Ring has now officially launched a range of security- and connectivity-related devices, including cameras, specially designed for a car. But these aren’t just dash-style cams either, reports indicate. The suite of devices covers car alarms, car cameras, and connectivity. And they’ve got branding to match — dubbed the Ring Car Cam, Car Alarm, and Car Connect.
In fact, both Ring Car Cam and Alarm are built to take advantage of the new Ring Car Connect platform. The platform effectively integrates those devices with the rest of the Ring ecosystem. But those aren’t the only devices slated to work on the platform at all.
The company has additionally announced a partnership with Tesla. So Model 3, X, S, and Y devices will be able to integrate with Ring’s other devices, as long as they have Sentry Mode enabled.
A secondary device will need to be installed first. But the finished system will allow more than just camera access. The Ring Car Connect APIs will, in the future, enable any participating car manufacturer to enable alerts for events, footage playback, and to check whether the car doors are locked.
Ring Car Alarm and Car Cam focus on security
Now, there are some differences between how Ring Car Alarm and Car Cam connect to provide vehicular security. The Ring Car Alarm, for instance, connects via Amazon’s Sidewalk network, set to launch later in 2020. Car Cam utilizes Wi-Fi or LTE. And that makes sense, these are two very different devices with very different functionality.
To begin with, Ring Car Cam is a dashboard camera that has a camera pointed both outward and inward. The camera is packed with sensors to send alerts for break-ins, towing, and accidents too. And users can access the camera feeds at a distance, just as with Ring’s smart home cameras.
Moreover, Ring Car Cam can automatically detect a “serious crash” and send notice to first responders. That’s in addition to features that allow users to say “Alexa, I’m being pulled over” and have the camera record and save the footage to the cloud. Conversely, Ring Car Cam features a physical camera shutter. And users will be able to disable both or either interior or exterior feeds and recording.
The Car Alarm from Ring goes a different route. It still detects break-ins, towing, or if the vehicle suffers an impact — whether the car is being driven at the time or not. But it’s siren-enabled so that users can either remotely set off the alarm or have it go off automatically when needed. And integration with the Ring and Alexa ecosystems means users can get audible alerts too when any of those things happen.
The Ring Car Alarm is plugged into the vehicle’s OBD-II diagnostic port. So there isn’t any messy installation either.
Pricing and availability
Pricing for Ring Car Connect hasn’t been reported as of this writing. But the Ring division of Amazon has detailed the information for its Car Alarm and Car Cam. The former device will cost $199.99. Car Alarm will be much less pricey at just $59.99. Each of the devices is slated for release sometime next year.