A number of firms have shown off smart doorbell products at CES, aimed at the growing smart home security market. Amazon-owned Ring's Video Door Cam can be attached via an existing peephole in a door. The firm told the BBC it was aimed at renters who may not be allowed to drill holes in a door. It also has a sensor which notifies you if someone knocks on the door instead of ringing the bell. French firm Netatmo is offering free video storage with its new product.
Naturally, August is hoping you'll pay for a Premium Video Recording subscription ($5 per month or $50 per year) if you want more than a day's worth of archival clips. There's no question that this is a competitive move. Amazon just acquired Ring, whose smart doorbells require $3 per month if you want to save any video in the cloud (albeit for a longer 60-day window). August is betting that it can fight its newly strengthened rival by giving you a freebie that might lead to a subscription down the road. Not that there's too much reason to complain -- this gives you at least some kind of buffer even if you can't justify a recurring fee.
If you've lived on this planet long enough, you've probably had that moment where you thought you'd closed the door on your way out, only to find out that it didn't quite shut. But how are you supposed to know if no one's at home to tell you, and even many smart locks won't fill in the gap? August Home thinks it has the answer. It's introducing two new locks, a lower-cost August Smart Lock (shown at center) and the August Smart Lock Pro (at left), that include a sensor to determine whether or not the door is really closed. If it's ajar and the deadbolt didn't engage, you can find out through your phone instead of having to return home.
Amazon's reported $1bn acquisition of video-doorbell maker Ring has closed, giving the company a significant lead over rival Google in the potentially lucrative home security market. The deal, announced in February and closed today, means Amazon now owns a leader in DIY video security systems. Ring makes popular wireless doorbells with cameras and a range of home security cameras, recently launching a wireless home security system with keypads, contact sensors and motion detectors. Ring becomes Amazon's second largest acquisition to date, following its $13.7bn deal last year for Whole Foods Market. The financial details of the deal were not released.