Ring, the Amazon-owned home security business, introduced a flying camera on Thursday that may excite home-surveillance fans but is almost certain to rankle privacy advocates. The $250 drone, called Ring Always Home Cam, is among a slew of products unveiled during Amazon's invitation-only online hardware event. The drone is small and light, with a high-definition camera, and it can automatically fly on preset paths to specific spots in your home, streaming video to your smartphone of what it sees along the way. Users can set up paths for the drone via a smartphone app, or if the drone detects motion in a part of your home it can fly on its own to that spot and take video of what's going on. Set for release next year, the drone is meant for indoor use only, and it can be set to work with the Ring Alarm system so that it will fly a preset route if the alarm is triggered.
Amazon has unveiled a bizarre home surveillance drone that flies around your house when you're not there and keeps an eye out for intruders. Unveiled by Ring, the firm's home security arm, the Always Home Cam can fly to check if the stove is off or the window is still open while the user is away. It consists of a flying black camera, powered by rotor blades, that automatically takes off from a stationary white dock if it detects movement in the house. The drone only records when it is in the air and makes a sound when it flies, so any people in the house know it is recording. Amazon said was inspired to create a security product that could move more freely throughout the home to'give more viewpoint flexibility'.
Amazon is coming for your hands. Not content to put a flying surveillance drone inside customers' homes, the surveillance behemoth on Tuesday announced a plan to scan and store the "unique palm signature" of an untold number of Americans. Dubbed Amazon One, the company hopes the network of scanners will one day serve as an all-purpose form of identification. You should absolutely not participate. Since the introduction of Apple's Touch ID in 2013, followed by Face ID in 2017, many people have become desensitized to using biometric data as a form of identification.
Amazon's naked ambition to become part of everyone's daily lives was on full display this week at its annual hardware event. It announced a slew of new Alexa-powered devices, including a home surveillance drone, a suite of Ring-branded car alarm systems, and miscellany like an adorable little kids' Echo device. But it's clear Amazon's strategy has shifted, even if only for a product cycle, from going wide to going deep. Last year, Amazon baked its virtual assistant into any household device that could accommodate a chip. Its list of new widgets with Alexa seemed a mile long and included a menagerie of home goods, like lamps and microwaves.
Amazon has debuted Amazon One, a device that connects your account and payment card to your palm for contactless shopping. On Tuesday, the e-commerce giant said the device has been designed to provide a "fast, convenient, [and] contactless way" to perform everyday activities, such as paying for goods and accessing buildings. In a blog post, Dilip Kumar, VP of Physical Retail & Technology at Amazon explained that Amazon One is now being trialed in two Amazon Go stores in Seattle, on 7th & Blanchard and 300 Boren Ave. See also: Can Amazon convince you to welcome a security drone into your home? As shown below, the device contains a scanner that records a user's palm'signature' -- a unique identifier in humans. Users insert their payment card, hover their palm over the Amazon One, and after the Amazon One scans their palm, they are enrolled.