Video doorbell company Ring wants to drag apartment building intercoms and doorbells into the 21st century with its new remote-controlled Ring Intercom.
The new DIY system connects to standard apartment intercom systems over a wire and to the Ring app over Wi-Fi, adding features like remote alerts and the ability to call someone to your apartment from virtually anywhere in the world.
Unveiled at IFA 2022 in Berlin, the Ring Intercom is battery-operated and comes with a removable, rechargeable battery and a backup. It will initially go on sale for £179.99 in the UK and Germany, with US availability set for next year (no US pricing was available at the time of writing – Ring told us to expect that information next year) . Ring says there will be no subscription fees for the service.
With Ring Intercom added to an existing apartment intercom, you will be able to talk to anyone who intercoms in your apartment, even if they are not at home. The alert comes through the app and opens an encrypted line of communication between you and your visitor outside your apartment’s front door. You can then choose to grant remote access to the building.
In addition to remote unlocking capabilities, Ring Intercom will offer shared user capabilities, so anyone with the app who you’ve granted access to can enter the building. Likewise, you can offer guest access to someone who only needs temporary access to the building.
Ring Intercom will work with Alexa-enabled devices (outside audio can come, for example, from your Amazon Echo). And, in keeping with Amazon’s theme, you’ll be able to authorize Amazon couriers to come in and leave your packages inside, instead of leaving them, say, in the rain.
Although Ring claims that Ring Intercom is compatible with most apartment intercom systems, you will still have to run a compatibility checker through Ring.com.
Ring adds that the installation does not require any structural changes, although we’re interested to see how owners feel about you adding this equipment to what it is. essentially your security system (opens in new tab). Based on the photos we’ve seen, however, the freestanding box is installed in your apartment and connects directly to the apartment’s intercom and doorbell system on the wall. A Ring representative told us that Ring Intercom uses 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, which should make it compatible with virtually all home networks.
Apartment life is an attractive target for Ring. Recent studies have revealed that there are around 40.6 million apartments in Germany and 24.2 million in the UK, and 1.6 million apartment buildings in the US.
Analysis: Ring around us
Ring has methodically designed, well, a smart security ring in every facet of our lives, starting with video doorbells and adding security cameras, alarm systems, doorbells and now an apartment intercom system.
He ties a lot of that together with a little bit of controversy. neighborhood network security system (opens in new tab), with Ring users receiving notifications about security alerts from other nearby Ring systems. In addition, Ring Doorbells regularly record activities in front of homes, often without people’s knowledge or permission. The practice has become so popular that Amazon is producing a new show called ring nation (opens in new tab)which will feature the most interesting clips from its Ring Video Doorbell network.
It will be interesting to see if Ring looks to build a similar library of fun apartment intercom interactions – since they are encrypted, this could mean they can never be shared outside the system. Unless, of course, both parties agree, and then a future show called Ring Talk Nation seems possible.
The fact that Ring is launching the Ring Intercom first in Europe could indicate that it wants to test the reaction to the new device and get some real-world telemetry on how well the system lives up to its claim that it can work with most apartment intercoms. systems.