The smart doorbell startup known as Doorbot in 2013 and as Ring in 2016 had done rather well in a series C of fundraising: over $61 million for the doorbell equipped with a Wi-Fi-connected camera.
In the intervening years, the Santa Monica-headquartered firm has gone through a rebranding and added new technology and products to its offering. This is how Ring Chime, a cloud-based video storage hub, and motion-detection smart gadgets appeared on the shelves.
Today’s successful funding is accompanied by the unveiling of a brand new product marketed as a “premium, compact Wi-Fi video doorbell.”
The Video Doorbell Pro sells for $250, and it’s the company’s latest security device. The $50 more you’ll be paying for the next gen video doorbell comes with the promise of a sleeker design, a smaller form factor, and “highly configurable motion-detection zones.”
However, the basic premise hasn’t changed: Should someone ring your doorbell when you’re not at home – or you can’t answer the door, Ring notifies your phone and allows you to talk directly to your guest.
Even though it was mainly designed to keep thieves away from your home, the video doorbell is equally useful for genuine visitors. If you’ve got Ring installed, somebody will always be at home.
With the extra $60 million, Ring hopes to expand its range of video doorbells and leave a larger international footprint. But Ring is only one cog in the machine that’s become the much-hyped Internet of things (IoT).
Indeed, at Consumer Electronics Show 2016 Samsung launched a plethora of products, from giant video walls to smart fridges, while Microsoft has joined the IoT hype with Azure and Windows 10.
As Volvo announced the upcoming launch of the first truly keyless car, Nokia revealed its massive new IoT funding. Tech giants like Microsoft, Samsung, Intel, and others have come together to launch an IoT standards group while Google-owned Nest has gone all-in on the smart home of the future.
A lot of IoT contraptions seem fun and gimmicky, but a video doorbell that allows the consumer to “always be at home” might be at the most useful end of the spectrum.
According to Mary Meeker, a general partner at KPCB, Ring managed to revamp the doorbell so you could respond via smartphone to someone at your front door from anywhere, anytime.
Ring’s plans of rolling out new products which allow consumers to monitor and engage with the areas around their homes mark a powerful approach to home security.
Image Source: PC Magazine