Under the radar: Ring doorbells just got “smarter”

Smart doorbells have come a long way in the past few years, but what’s the next step in the evolution of the doorbell camera? It’s radar, if you ask corporate behemoth Amazon. The company’s newest Ring model, the Video Doorbell Pro 2, is now available for the premium price of $250. At a time when the top-end of do-it-yourself doorbells has dropped below $200 (Arlo’s latest is $150), Ring is offering a “higher-end” model that includes radar technology (they still provide budget-conscious consumers with a basic $60 non-radar version).

While some homeowners may have no need for radar at their front door, the inclusion of the tech enables a bird’s eye view of those standing in front of the doorbell, allowing owners to more accurately see where exactly a visitor is positioned. In theory, this should reduce the number of irritating, false alerts for the homeowner. Aside from the bird’s eye-view, the new Ring model provides better resolution (1536p, up from 1080p) as well as a head-to-toe view, enabling people to see the packages that have been left at the front door.

According to Interpret’s Smart Home Matrix™ research, 45% of those owning doorbells reported having a Ring model. Ring’s popularity, however, has not been without controversy. Ring’s data-sharing relationship with local police forces, while delighting some consumers, has concerned others. Interpret’s research indicates that approximately 50% of smart doorbell owners are highly concerned about data privacy – meaning a substantial number of owners will be keeping a careful eye on doorbell manufacturers’ practices relating to data encryption and data sharing.

“Smart doorbells have been gaining steam in the US market and sales have increased during the pandemic,” said Stuart Sikes, Senior Vice President at Interpret. “COVID-19 has sparked new records in online shopping, leading to near-constant package delivery. Doorbell cameras that alert homeowners to the delivery of packages will become an even more important household necessity moving forward.”