Amazon launches home security camera drone that flies around your home

Amazon’s home security division has created a small drone camera that flies from room to room in a home to record footage. The Ring Always Home Cam can be programmed to fly to specific points in its owner’s home and records only while it’s in flight. It emits a sound while it’s flying, making it clear when it’s in motion and recording, the company confirmed during an online product launch event.

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The £249 device is manufactured by Ring, the home security company known for its camera-equipped doorbells that Amazon acquired in a deal reportedly worth between £1.2bn and £1.8bn.

Once the camera has completed its journey, it returns automatically to its dock to recharge its battery. When it’s not in use, it sits in its dock and the camera is blocked, preventing it from accidentally recording.

The device can also check if doors are left open or if ovens have been left on (Photo: Ring/Amazon)

The flying camera can only be used indoors and can also be commanded to fly to specific points to check if a pair of hair straighteners have been left on or if a door has swung open. It is equipped with obstacle avoidance technology to prevent it flying into humans, lampshades or any other low-hanging objects.

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Jamie Siminoff, Ring’s founder and chief inventor said the driving concept behind the Always Home Cam was the hope to provide multiple viewpoints throughout someone’s home without having to fit it out with multiple cameras in different rooms.

Amazon also revealed a raft of new products, including redesigned spherical Echo and Echo Dot speakers to better optimise its sound and audio quality, a Ring car alarm, redesigned Echo Show 10 device and a new cloud gaming service called Luna.

Alexa gets chattier

Alexa, Amazon’s artificially intelligent virtual assistant, is now capable of learning directly from scolding and other forms of spoken feedback from users – a world first, the company claimed. If a user expresses vocal frustration such as saying: “Alexa, that’s wrong” or a direct interruption like “Alexa, stop”, the assistant will automatically correct its mistakes in a bid to communicate more naturally as a human would.

Amazon has changed the cylindrical design of the Echo speaker to a more spherical shape (Photo: Amazon)

The AI will start to ask questions to fill specific gaps in its understanding, such as asking “What do you mean by that?” if it’s asked something it doesn’t understand. Rohit Prasad, vice president and head scientist of Amazon Alexa, explained that Alexa was also being updated to adjust its tone depending on the context of the conversation, placing stress on specific words or taking pauses to make its responses seem more natural.

A new mode also allows Alexa to conduct conversations with more than one human simultaneously for the first time, thanks to improvements in its understanding when it is being addressed.

This means users will be able to speak to Alexa without having to say its determined ‘wake word’ (Alexa is the default), heightening the likelihood of the AI butting into chats unprompted.

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