Ring’s latest tool makes your apartment intercom smart

Smart door locks and video doorbells are great amenities for those who live in single family homes, but what about the millions of people who live in apartments, condos, and condos? They may also want to answer their front door from their phones—whether they’re at home or not—and may ring a visitor without getting off the couch or rushing home from the office. Ring, the original video doorbell maker, thinks he has a solution.

Ring Intercom is a manually updated device that plugs into the intercom within your home and connects via Wi-Fi to the Ring app on your smartphone. It is specially designed for European apartment buildings where many apartments (or apartments) have one entry point and an audio only intercom system is installed. With Ring Intercom installed, when someone rings your apartment, you can talk to and engage your visitors through the app. There is no video component – everything is audio – and no recording feature. Ring Intercom simply replicates the current functionality of the intercom system on your phone, allowing you to talk to the front door from anywhere.

The main feature of Ring Intercom is the ability to talk and engage visitors remotely, using your phone from anywhere or an Echo device if you’re at home. But having packages or food deliveries that bring it indoors and possibly to your door, rather than sitting on your doorstep exposed to the elements and potential thieves, also adds another level of security and convenience.

The battery-powered Ring Intercom launches this week at IFA in Berlin. It will be available first in the UK for £119.99, and in Germany, with pre-orders beginning September 28 and shipping scheduled for October 26. The package with Ring battery charging station and battery backup costs £149.99. Ring, which is owned by Amazon, is offering the product for an introductory price of £89.99, including additional battery hardware, which is worth a total of around £48. Ring Intercom will be available in France, Spain and Italy in early 2023 and is due to arrive in the US next year.

Jimmy Semenov, founder and chief inventor of Ring, said in an interview with the edge. “If I had been born or raised in Europe, I would probably have built this first.”

Three times more people live in multi-unit buildings worldwide than single-family homes, he says, so this solution was one the company had been trying to develop for a long time. Siminoff said that while the doorbell’s product line “did well in Europe,” a large percentage of the population simply couldn’t use one.

Ring actually introduced the Peephole Cam a couple of years ago, which worked in apartment doors (the doorbell cam was in the peephole). But that didn’t solve how to talk to someone calling at your building door (and stopped Ring from peeping last year).

“There are tens of thousands of variations [on intercom systems]Semenov said. “This is designed to work with over 90 percent of them. It took a lot of work to develop it, and it has a lot of intelligence built into it that decides what it plugs into, similar to how some smart thermostats work.”

Ring Intercom connects to your intercom and is powered by a rechargeable, reusable battery. It’s compatible with most audio intercoms (but not video systems), and there’s a compatibility checker at Ring.com. There are no structural changes required for your apartment, and the installation process is entirely DIY.

When someone presses your apartment’s button at the main entrance, it triggers two-way talk through the Ring app. You can only answer calls when someone is knocking on your apartment, so you can’t use it to listen to people hanging out in the hallway whenever you want.

No recording possibility, as with Ring video doorbells; There is only direct two-way talk. ‘I don’t know if people want [recording]“And there are local laws about audio recording.” The Activity log in the Ring app will tell you if you’ve missed a visitor. The activity log also appears every time the remote unlocking feature is activated by you or any shared user in your home that you’ve given the right to. Access.

Ring Intercom also has an optional feature that gives Amazon delivery drivers secure, time-based access to your premises for package delivery, similar to the Amazon Key program, so you don’t even have to answer the bell. Ring says it will add an auto-verified guest feature that lets you share revocable virtual keys with, say, a dog walker or cleaning person. This is something that most smart door locks allow you to do.

Ring Intercom can also connect to the Amazon Alexa voice assistant, allowing you to use any Echo smart speaker or display as a hands-free intercom and talk to your visitor through it. You can also open the door with a voice, but you need to set up and use a voice PIN.

Ring Intercom is installed next to the intercom in your apartment and is battery operated.
Photo: ring

While Ring Intercom will operate in the US, Siminoff said Ring has chosen to focus on Europe for its launch, where there is a larger untapped market. “I think everyone always imagines that once you get to Amazon, you just have a magic wand full of engineers and unlimited resources,” he says. “But we have to focus, so we wanted to focus on Europe, launch it there, move forward, and then bring it to the United States.”

While Ring says you can link Ring Intercom to other Ring devices like the Ring Indoor Cam, there are no common functions; It’s just that both devices can be accessed from the same app. The intercom is a purely audio device. “There are ways you can add video to these types of devices,” Siminoff says. “But doing it is a lot more difficult and involves more parties, like a building owner. With Ring Intercom, you can stay connected to your front door with a device you can buy and install yourself ‘using a few screws and a half an hour on a Sunday,’” Siminoff says.

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