Ring, the smart doorbell and security camera maker that Amazon acquired for $1 billion about two months ago, has launched their first official product as a member of the Amazon family. The standalone Neighbors app, which is available on both Android and iOS devices, builds on Ring’s pre-existing Neighborhoods feature that is available via the main Ring mobile device app. By producing a separate app, Ring hopes to develop and foster a digital community similar to a neighborhood watch operation.
Ring states on their website that, “the Neighbors App is the new neighborhood watch that brings your community together to help create safer neighborhoods. With real-time crime and safety alerts from your neighbors, law enforcement, and the Ring team, the Neighbors App proactively keeps you in the know.”
The new Neighbors app allows users to access local crime and safety information, view videos shared by Ring security camera owners, and communicate via text-based messages as one would do via a social network. The app is a peer-fueled community, for the most part, however, local law enforcement and emergency services can join and contribute to the data pool via the mobile platform.
Battle of the Smart Homes
The conditions are prime for the smart home market and home security is at the forefront. Last October, San Francisco-based August Home was acquired by Swedish lock behemoth Assa Abloy, a company Amazon considered for a moment before unveiling their in-home delivery service Key & Cloud Cam. Earlier this year Amazon announced their acquisition of Ring and then proceeded to drop the price on Ring cameras once the deal was completed in April this year. Amazon is not alone in their quest to develop and provide an all-encompassing home security system since Google is chasing down the same goal with their Nest product line.
Ring Neighbors Redefines Community
In order to make the most of Ring’s Neighbors community, users need to join their digital neighborhood through the Ring Neighbors app and tailor the specific geographic area they want to be part of in the digital realm. Users can receive alerts from law enforcement and neighbors keeping you up to date on crime and safety in your locale. Ring partnered with the L.A. Police Department way back in 2016 to install Ring video doorbells in 10 percent of homes in select neighborhoods. And the company has continued to view these kinds of partnerships as integral to its community growth—if consumers see law enforcement actively engaging with a service such as Ring, they may be more inclined to choose Ring over a rival service.
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