When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos promised in 2013 that drones would soon be flying everywhere to deliver packages, a miniature camera roaring through homes and recording video was probably not what that people were considering
But on Thursday, Amazon’s Ring division unveiled the $ 249 Ring Always Home Cam, a small drone that buzzes around homes filming everything, apparently for security reasons
Amazon also launched new Echo devices, a cloud gaming service called Luna, and other products But the home security drone stood out The company’s promotional video highlighting the camera showed a penetrating burglar breaking into a house and getting scared as the drone flew straight at him – « Oh, no! » he exclaimed – while the owner watched the meeting on his phone
The response to the surveillance drone has been sharp – but not in the way Amazon might have hoped
« In a country without a law regulating digital privacy, anyone who buys this product from a company with a history of privacy issues is foolish, » tweeted Walt Mossberg, a longtime technology product evaluator who is a board member. Administration of the News Literacy Project
Ring said the drone could be used to check if an owner left the stove on or a window open, and promised it would only record in flight that would also make a buzz to make it clear. during filming But privacy was still the number one concern of even the most dumbfounded Twitter users
« An Internet-connected drone camera for your home, owned by Amazon, certainly won’t be a privacy nightmare * at all *, » one person tweeted
« A scary step in the future of technology? » posted another Twitter user, Khoa Phan, « It’s cool but still weird at the same time Obviously there are privacy issues with Amazon But what’s next after that if it’s just the beginning ? ”
Dave Limp, Amazon’s director of devices, said he has made major investments in camera security, such as two-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption, which will be rolled out this year « If Walt doesn’t want to buy this drone, then fine, » he said
The product was born out of technological advancements and consumer interest in indoor security cameras, Limp said He said the sensors had become good enough and cheap enough for an indoor drone to work safely Amazon also found that people were not putting cameras in every room for reasons such as not having outlets in the right location, so the drone could fill the void, he said.
A disclaimer at the bottom of Ring’s blog post announcing the drone stated that the device had not been cleared by the Federal Communications Commission – and may never be, Ring said that the drone would be available next year, but not « until clearance is obtained » Limp said he expects Amazon to be able to get approval and start shipping to some people here the end of the year
As for Bezos’ plan to have packages delivered by drones? In 2013, he said it could happen in about five years. To date, he hasn’t
Ring, Amazoncom, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
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