Ring Car Cam: Amazon's video security ecosystem on US highways

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Athe evolution of Mazon since ubiquitous shopping platform For ubiquitous monitoring platform continues at a steady pace, having significantly expanded its line of Ring security camera systems in recent years. Today, the company offers video doorbells, outdoor cameras, indoor cameras, flying cameras, lighting systems, alarm systems and vehicle security packages – the latter being the reason we are here today. I installed a Ring camera in my car.

This is not to say that the Ring Car Camera is a poorly designed or poorly manufactured product, far from it! THE $250 car camera features dual-sided (pointing both to the road and the cabin), IR-enabled 1080p imaging sensors, optional LTE connectivity, Alexa-driven voice commands and remote monitoring distance from the vehicle via the Ring mobile app.

In fact, I was surprised at how quickly and easily I was able to to configure the system. The camera assembly itself is a single piece that wedges into the lower edge of the windshield and dashboard horizon and bonds to the glass with a high strength adhesive. It’s not sturdy enough to stop a car thief from ripping it off, but it will hold the camera in place as you travel over and through America’s crumbling road infrastructure system. One sticking point I’ve seen arise is that the camera needs access to a home Wi-Fi connection during the setup/pairing sequence. I was able to work around my driveway until I was outside the router wall of my house, but if you live in an apartment complex things could get dicey.

“If you are unable to connect to your home Wi-Fi during setup, you can set up the device using LTE via Ring Protect Go,” a Ring representative told Engadget. “Just skip the ‘Setup with Wi-Fi’ step in the setup flow and follow the on-screen instructions. Every new customer will get a free 30-day trial of Ring Protect Go, which provides LTE connectivity.

I was not at all a fan of the camera’s wired power connection to the vehicle’s OBDII port, which also monitors battery voltage so the camera can shut down before completely depleting power. For one thing, this physical requirement limits the vehicles this system can work with only to those with OBD ports located to the left of the steering column. On the other hand, I now have a 6ft long cable that winds its way across my previously immaculate dash, draping over my driver’s side door panel to connect to the OBDII port just above my brake pedal. Even with the included 3M adhesive struts (which I might add were immediately foiled by the tiny rocks and creases in my dash surface), I can hear the cord shifting and slipping during turns, I am constantly aware of this as I swing my legs out of the car lest I accidentally catch it on one toe and rip the port connector. Which I did the very first time I drove after installation, and then the next as well.

images of the Ring Car Cam installed in my car

Andrew Tarantola/Engadget

The other issue is that not all cars have an OBDII port located in the passenger cabin and for these vehicles the Ring Car Cam will not work. None of the vehicles on this rather long list of incompatible models for some reason – some cut power to the port when the key is removed and Teslas, for one, don’t even use the OBDII interface. Also, if your dongle is already in use, either for an insurance tracker or a locking device, you are SOL with the use of the Car Cam. Ditto if you buy it in a jurisdiction that restricts the use of dashcams – except that you will also go to prison.

Ring Car Camera photos are a bit blurry and grainy

Andrew Tarantola/Engadget

At 1080p, the Car Cam’s video quality is perfect for what the average driver would likely use it for, and the inward-facing infrared sensor will let you see clearly anyone rummaging through your center console at three in the morning. But, since it’s mounted on the dash itself and not hanging from the rearview mirror like the commercial-grade ones you find in Ubers and Lyfts, you won’t get much of a view of the interior below chest level. . Accessing these videos also takes a hot second, as the clips aren’t transferred directly to your phone (if you’re using Protect Go). They must first be uploaded and processed in the cloud before you can watch them.

The camera offers a variety of recording options. You can set it up for continuous use, just like you would a traditional dash cam – and if you don’t want it recording you, the device thankfully incorporates a physical lens cover for the forward-facing camera. inside. You can also use it specifically for traffic stops with the verbal command “Alexa, Record”, in which the system will record continuously for 20 minutes even after the ignition is turned off. Finally, there is the Parking Protection mode which activates the camera if it detects movement or an impact when the vehicle is parked.

Ring Car Camera photos are a bit blurry and grainy

Andrew Tarantola/Engadget

All recorded data – up to seven hours – is saved locally on the device and made available once the camera is back within range of a Wi-Fi connection. Again, this is not great if a thief or cop rips the device before the information can be downloaded. Plus, there’s no loop recording, so if something big happens when you’ve already recorded 6 hours and 56 minutes of video, you better hope the problem resolves in less time. 4 minutes, otherwise the recording will simply be cut off.

To work around this, you’ll need cloud access and spend $6 per month (or $60 per year) for the Protect Go ring subscription service for it. Additionally, Protect Go unlocks access to the camera’s built-in LTE connection enabling two-way view and talk, notifications, and GPS tracking from anywhere with cell service. Without this subscription access, these features are only available over Wi-Fi.

Ring Car Camera photos are a bit blurry and grainy

Andrew Tarantola/Engadget

Ring’s business decisions have made it clear that it is on the side of the police – even if the owners themselves are not – freely providing data to law enforcement agencies and often partnering with them across the country. When asked if safeguards were in place to prevent law enforcement from surreptitiously spying via the Car Cam, Ring’s spokesperson said: “Ring builds products and services for our customers, not law enforcement. When parked, Car Cam only records when the smart sensors detect an incident (such as a collision or broken window) or if the device owner or shared user initiates live view. What happens to that data once it’s off the device and into Ring’s cloud servers hasn’t been clarified.

While I could put Ring’s warm relationship with the police aside, $250 for what the Car Cam offers is a big ask, especially with that icing on the cake of $6 a month to keep everything running outside of your aisle. Certainly, if you’re already part of the Ring ecosystem, love what it offers, and want to extend that platform to your vehicle, definitely give the Car Cam a try. But if you’re looking for an autonomous vehicle security system, there are plenty of options to choose from. offer many of the same features like the Ring at a fraction of the price and without the luggage – or that damned power cable.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices correct at time of publication.

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Find Facebook Lite Facebook.

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There are many ways To create a Facebook account
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If you are new to this social networking platform then… Create a Facebook profile It can be stressful for you. So here are some tips to help you get started with Facebook:

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