Ring Introduces a Breakthrough in Battery-Powered Video Doorbells: Pre-Roll
By Jamie Siminoff, Chief Inventor and Founder on March 11, 2020
I am incredibly proud of the work our team has done over the past five years to bring customers innovative, effective and affordable products. Since the launch of our first Video Doorbell back in 2013, the team continues to invent innovative devices and features on behalf of our customers—we do this in pursuit of our mission of making neighborhoods safer.
Pre-Roll – A First of Its Kind Feature for Battery-Powered Video Doorbells, a Major Benefit for Customers
Today, we are introducing a brand new feature that is the result of over two years of hard work across the Ring team. Pre-Roll is an all-new feature that shows you the four seconds of video from before motion is detected, so you can get more context behind what triggered your Ring App notification. This feature has never been possible on a battery-powered Video Doorbell, and is available exclusively on our newest Video Doorbell, Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus.
Pre-Roll is the next step in home security—the more information you have regarding what’s going on outside your door, the sooner you can take action. Pre-Roll lets you see exactly what happened to trigger an alert, so you can react quickly.
How an Early Challenge Sparked Innovation
Adding a feature like Pre-Roll to a battery-powered Video Doorbell requires an incredible amount of engineering and invention in order to find the right balance of battery life and performance. No one wants a Video Doorbell that needs a new battery every week; but innovative features like Pre-Roll require a huge amount of power.
In 2017, we added a similar feature to our hardwired devices—and customers loved it. While it took time, we were first able to develop this new feature for a device with hardwired power, since you don’t have to worry about that balance between battery life and performance.
Creating a similar feature for battery-powered devices was much harder—the technology didn’t exist, so the team invented it.
Technology Breakthrough That Made Pre-Roll Possible
In order to solve the challenge of balancing battery capacity and performance, we had to innovate on both hardware and software.
- First, the hardware. We built a new, innovative three-camera module that now combines the imager with the image signal processor, to yield ultra-low power performance – as to not jeopardize battery life. This new module consists of three separate cameras, that when working together, are able to capture the entire field-of-view – all in addition to the main camera on the device. In order to preserve battery life, these three new cameras record in black and white, in lower resolution and at fewer frames per second. That's in contrast to the Video Doorbell’s main camera, which records in color and at a higher resolution of 1080p HD.
- Second, the software. Our new camera module needed to have new software that could communicate across all three cameras, stitching together the images captured into one, seamless video. Since the images are not recorded as video, but more like a photo time lapse, we had to get the number of frames per second just right, and develop a software that would process those individual frames into a steady video. Even more challenging, it was not only getting the auto-exposure right on one camera, but ensuring it was now consistent across the three imagers to produce that seamless 4-second video, which is how we view Pre-Roll today.
Only after getting both of these components right, are we releasing a feature that we love and are excited to make available to customers – a reliable Pre-Roll feature that has only a minimal impact on battery performance.
Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus customers who answer a motion notification with Live View on their Ring App can simultaneously review the Pre-Roll video that was taken before the motion sensor was triggered as a "picture-in-picture" experience to get the full context.
Designed With Control in Mind
Whenever we're creating a new product or feature, your privacy, security and control is our priority. So how does Pre-Roll help you keep control over your videos? We designed the three-camera module to record up to four seconds of video in rolling buffer on the camera’s local memory, which constantly overwrites itself automatically. No Pre-Roll videos are stored in Ring’s cloud unless you’re a Ring Protect subscriber.
How to Get the New Pre-Roll Feature
Pre-Roll will be on our new Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, available next month. While all customers have access to Pre-Roll in Live View, Ring Protect Plan subscribers have the additional ability to look back at their motion events history and view the four seconds of Pre-Roll stitched together with the video that's recorded on the main camera, providing them a full look at the event. Like your other Ring videos, these Pre-Roll videos are stored in the cloud, in your Ring account. Designed with customer control in mind, we’ve also made it easy to turn off the Pre-Roll feature if you prefer not to use it.
We are excited about what the new battery-powered Pre-Roll feature means for Ring and the future of our whole-home security ecosystem. We’re committed to making innovative security features, like Pre-Roll, the new industry standard.
Jamie Siminoff, Chief Inventor & Founder, Ring
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