We have a few questions about Amazon’s flying indoor security camera drone

Should we invite Amazon’s internet-connected cameras and voice assistants into our homes? That’s been a contentious topic for years — but today, Amazon effectively said “screw it” and announced an entire automated flying indoor robot security system.

Yes, that’s right: Amazon’s Ring division now has a camera that can theoretically go anywhere in your home, not just the direction you initially point it. Or, in Amazon’s words: An Innovative New Approach to Always Being Home.

Needless to say, the staff of The Verge has a few questions about that.

In no particular order and without naming names:

  • Can it go up and down stairs?
  • Why does it look like an air humidifier?
  • What’s battery life like?
  • Does the drone play slap bass?
  • How does it map your house, anyhow? Where do those pictures go?
  • Could someone at Ring HQ fly this camera drone around my house?
  • Could one of Ring’s employees abroad fly this camera drone around my house?
  • Could hackers fly this camera drone around my house?
  • Could the cops fly this camera drone around my house? What if they had a court order? Is Amazon really going to say no?
  • Is it a good cat toy?
  • Can I program it to follow me around and say “HEY! LISTEN!”?
  • How far can it fly?
  • How far can I throw it?
  • What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
  • How well does it dodge Nerf darts? No particular reason for asking.
  • Can it be decorated for parties?
  • Does Amazon’s catchphrase “Privacy you can hear” mean this drone is actually louder than other drones, or does it simply mean it is a drone and drones are loud?
  • How does it avoid ceiling fans, lights, and other protruding objects?
  • What if I move my furniture?
  • Who is liable if it runs into a ceiling fan… or a painting?
  • Will it truly only fly when no one is home, and, uh… how does it know that, exactly?
  • Does it know not to take off when pets are roaming the house?
  • What keeps my cat / dog / monkey / parakeet from swatting it out of the air?
  • If I map my house and then close a bunch of doors when I go out, is it going to butt its head on the first door until it passes out and dies?
  • On that note, can I trap it in a room?
  • How many crashes is it rated for?
  • Can you get two of them to battle it out, or is it only one per account?
  • How long can it fly?
  • What if it doesn’t make it back to its charger in time? Does it fall out of the air?
  • Why would anyone with the money to have a home security system choose something that’s this kind of pain in the ass?
  • Is it going to be like my Roomba and just become a potato if it encounters an unfamiliar obstacle in the corner?
  • Wait, what if I have a motion-sensing alarm (say, from Ring) and then the drone flies in front of the sensor?
  • If I pay for Nest Aware and my Amazon Echo hears a drone flying around inside my house, will it notify me?
  • Will it invite its parents the 2001: A Space Odyssey monolith and Mega Man 3’s Top Man over for holidays or do I have to do that myself?
  • If I rob a home and, y’know, wear a mask, is there literally anything this drone could actually do to scare me away?
  • Could it carry a one-pound coconut?
  • Can it shoot pepper spray?
  • Genuinely, why is there not a pet mode? The only good use for this.
  • Can you program it to make the rounds in synch with your Roomba? And will they become friends?
  • What if nothing ever happens in my house, because break-ins are not actually that common? Will this just sit in its stand for years, unused?
  • Will anyone ever hold Ring accountable for making us all more afraid of strangers even though the statistics show violent crime has fallen sharply?
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For the answers we do know about Amazon’s new Ring drone, here’s our news post.

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