Ring, the company notorious for their smart doorbell and the recent Amazon acquisition, plans to offer a new style of neighborhood watch. Rings new social protection app, Neighbors, is a standalone app that uses the networking aspect of the Ring app and offers it into a standalone application, no Ring contract required.
Neighborhood Watch for a Digital Age
The Neighbors app, available for Android and iOS, builds on Ring’s existing Neighborhoods feature that’s available through the main Ring mobile app. The Ring app however, was limited to customers but by offering a new free app, Ring hopes to create a social network based on similar foundations of a neighborhood watch but for a digital age.
“Ring Neighborhoods expands the Ring of Security from your home to your neighborhood by letting you easily share and communicate with your neighbors about crime and safety, so you have up-to-date local crime data at your fingertips. We believe that knowledge and communication fosters stronger and safer communities. Together, we can make our neighborhoods better places to live for our families, friends, and neighbors.”
Through Neighbors, users can access local crime and safety information, view videos shared by Ring security camera owners, and share messages just like you would in a social network. Of course, the app isn’t entirely user-driven. Like a regular neighborhood watch program, police department and law enforcement participation is encouraged. Neighbors hopes to have law enforcement sign up to the app to share their in-depth data through the platform to further the safety of a neighborhood.
A New Type of Safety App
Although being a Ring customer is not required to access Neighbors, a few safety precautions are required to use. Users must confirm their addresses to ensure they actually reside in the neighborhood they are attempting to join and can only join networks for the neighborhoods in which they live. That way, false tips on suspicious behavior will be far less likely. If any suspicious activity were to happen, users would receive push notifications on their device.
“People are in their neighborhood less than they were 50 years ago,” says Ring founder Jamie Siminoff. “The Neighbors app brings presence back into the neighborhood.”
Interestingly enough, Neighbors is not the first app created to share safety concerns for specific areas. Nextdoor, an app of a similar purpose, launched seven years ago and has seen much success. Although, it is not specifically based on neighborhood security. Rather, Nextdoor is open to all community conversation such as lost pets or local business recommendations. Another community based app, Citizen, focuses on tracking local crime as it is happening live.
Emphases on Security
Unlike the completion, Neighbors is set on focusing specifically on safety updates for communities. With the potential of having law enforcement members be involved, this app could be a great step forward to protecting homes in a digital age with the aid of an entire community.
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