Amazon launches surveillance drone that flies around inside your house

Adam Smith
·2-min read

Amazon has announced a drone that flies around the home to check whether the users’ home is secure.

It comes from its smarthome security subsidiary, Ring.

The Always Home Cam flies around a predestinated path, which Amazon says can check for windows left unopen or kitchen appliances still turned on.

The Always Home Cam streams video to the Ring app, before returning to the charging dock to refill its battery.

“Something I frequently hear from customers is ‘I have a few Indoor Cams from Ring, but sometimes I would leave the house and couldn’t remember if I’d left a window open and wished I had a camera there’”, writes Jamie Siminoff, Ring’s founder, in a blog post.

“Instead of simply encouraging customers to buy more cameras and set them up in more locations around the home, how could we solve this problem with one solution?”

The drone has technology built into it to avoid unexpected obstacles, and because it is so small and lightweight Amazon says it is unlikely to cause damage in unforeseen circumstances.

The camera on the Always Home Cam is physically blocked when the device is charging, so it can only record when it is flying around.

While it is flying, Amazon says it is “built to be loud” so that the drone is conspicuous.

It also cannot be manually controlled, which Amazon claims means it can only record “what is important to you” – and presumably alleviate fears the drone can be hacked and used for surveillance.

It records in 1080p quality, and can be programmed to react to a disturbance detected by another Ring product.

However, privacy critics have called the product Amazon’s "most chilling home surveillance product" to date.

"It's difficult to imagine why Amazon thinks anyone wants flying internet cameras linked up to a data-gathering company in the privacy of their own home," said Silkie Carlo from Big Brother Watch, told the BBC.

"It's important to acknowledge the influence that Amazon's product development is having on communities and the growing surveillance market."

The device is expected to cost $250 when it launches in the US.

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