Amazon unveils Ring sensor for mailboxes that alerts users if someone steals their mail

Amazon unveils Ring sensor for mailboxes that alerts users if someone steals their mail

Amazon unveils Ring sensor for mailboxes that alerts users if someone steals their mail
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Amazon unveils Ring sensor for mailboxes that alerts users if someone steals their mail by sending real-time alerts each time they are opened or closed

  • Amazon announced a number of new Ring-powered technologies 
  • The firm revealed a new Mailbox Sensor that sits inside a person’s mailbox
  • The sensor is paired with the Ring app and sends users real-time alerts
  • Notifications are sent each time the mailbox is opened or closed
  • There is also a camera that records every time the mailbox is opened 

The US Postal Service handles more than 187.7 million pieces of mail each day, which is how many opportunities a thief has to steal people’s identities if they get their hands on the deliveries.

To combat these numbers, Amazon has designed a new Ring sensor that sits inside a mailbox and alerts users when it is opened or closed – allowing them to keep their mail safe and secure.

The system was quietly revealed along with the tech giant’s Ring Product Announcement Thursday, which included a home surveillance drone.

The Mailbox Sensor pairs with the Ring app, allowing customers to receive real-time alerts, and is equipped with a camera that activates when the postbox is opened.

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The technology is just $30 and is attached to the door or flap of a mailbox that is triggered every time it is opened or closed.

Similar to the Ring Motion Sensor accessory for Ring lighting products, the new Mailbox Sensor is a little sensor that relies on Amazon’s Sidewalk technology to extend the range of your Wi-Fi network.

The tech giant’s Sidewalk is said to be a new long-term effort to greatly extend the working range of low-bandwidth, low-power, smart lights, sensors, and other low-cost devices customers installed at the edge of their home network.

Using the 900 MHz spectrum, the technology increases the connection range of smart devices by more than one half-mile.

The Mailbox Sensor was quietly revealed along with the tech giant’s Ring Product Announcement Thursday, which included a home surveillance drone (pictured)

The Mailbox Sensor was quietly revealed along with the tech giant’s Ring Product Announcement Thursday, which included a home surveillance drone (pictured)

Sidewalk also allows users to put their smart devices anywhere around their property and ‘know they’ll work, even in dead spots where WiFi and Bluetooth don’t reach’, according to Amazon.

Although the Mailbox sensor could stop thieves from stealing mail, it was the firm’s Ring Always Home Cam that received the most attention Thursday.

It consists of a flying black camera, powered by rotor blades, that automatically takes off from a stationary white dock if it detects movement in the house.

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Ring Always Home Cam still needs approval from the US Federal Communications Commission, but once cleared will go on sale next year for $250.

Amazon's Ring Always Home Cam provides a live view of what's going on in the user's home to their smartphone via the Ring app, in case of unwelcome visitors

Amazon’s Ring Always Home Cam provides a live view of what’s going on in the user’s home to their smartphone via the Ring app, in case of unwelcome visitors

Industry expert and chief of research at analyst firm CCS Insight, Ben Wood, said Amazon is becoming ‘increasingly pervasive in our daily lives’.

‘The Always Home Cam is an incredibly ambitious device that will seem like something from a science fiction movie for many consumers,’ he said.

‘I expect it to generate a huge amount of interest from technology enthusiasts who are typically the people who embrace smart home technology first.

‘However, it is also likely to provoke a huge discussion around privacy and the future role of technology in the home.’

Obstacle avoidance technology prevents Always Home Cam from bumping into unexpected or low-hanging objects as it moves through paths that are set by the user on the app.

The camera will only start recording when it leaves the white base – and when the device is resting in the base the camera is physically blocked and can’t record.

WHY ARE PEOPLE CONCERNED OVER PRIVACY WITH AMAZON’S ALEXA DEVICES?

Amazon devices have previously been activated when they’re not wanted – meaning the devices could be listening.

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Millions are reluctant to invite the devices and their powerful microphones into their homes out of concern that their conversations are being heard.

Amazon devices rely on microphones listening out for a key word, which can be triggered by accident and without their owner’s realisation.

The camera on the £119.99 ($129) Echo Spot, which doubles up as a ‘smart alarm’, will also probably be facing directly at the user’s bed.

The device has such sophisticated microphones it can hear people talking from across the room – even if music is playing. A hack by British security researcher Mark Barnes saw 2015 and 2016 versions of the Echo turned into a live microphone.

Fraudsters could then use this live audio feed to collect sensitive information from the device.

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