Newsletter (6th Jan 23): Ring (Finally) Release The Car Cam In CES 2023, & More

(This newsletter was originally sent to subscribers on 6th January 2023)

Hi I’m Tristan! I hope you all had a great New Year, and welcome to today’s Smart Home Point newsletter, covering the latest smart home news and updates over the past few weeks.

It is CES 2023 week, which is where we usually see a bunch of new smart products being announced. The biggest one announced so far is the Ring Car Cam.

News: The Ring Car Cam

The Ring Car Cam for 199 dollars
The Ring Car Cam for 199 dollars

Ring announced a car camera a year or two ago, but it then went a bit silent. But it’s finally here, as their blog post explains.

This is basically a fancy dash cam, that plugs into the OBD-II port on your car. It supports Wi-Fi, but you can also get LTE (mobile data) support with an optional Ring Protect Go subscription which costs $6 per month or $60 per year.

I’m a bit disappointed that (1) this isn’t launching in the UK yet and (2) you need to buy another Ring subscription for the full features. Why can’t they include this Car Cam in the Ring Protect Plus or Pro subscriptions?

Either way, the camera costs $199 and it ships in mid Feburary 2023 to all 50 American states.

News: Arlo Customers Are Annoyed

Arlo customers received an email a few days ago, saying that their Arlo Pro and Arlo Gen 3 cameras are soon becoming (fairly) useless.

A report in Android Police shows that Arlo have put both cameras into ‘end of life’, meaning that they will not receive any further software updates – plus 7-day recordings and email notifications will stop too.

Some features will still work, but some loyal Arlo customers are frustrated at this change because the cameras are 6-8 years old… which isn’t that old. Ring still support their 6+ year old doorbell cams, after all.

Blog: Do Sound-Activated Smart Cameras Exist?

Eufy cameras can be activated by sound
Eufy cameras can be activated by sound

I have had a few people write in and ask me whether any smart cameras trigger based on nearby sounds (usually there is neighbor nuisance, with really loud music being played).

Thankfully there are a handful of good smart cameras that offer this feature, including ones from Wyze, Eufy and Nest. Yvette explores them in one of our recent blog posts.

News: Don’t Put Amazon Echo In Your Bedroom (Apparently…)

I saw a few worried comments in recent weeks, after Fox News and the UK Mirror reported that Amazon Echo is “always” listening, meaning that you should ‘never’ put an Echo in your bedroom.

These ‘news’ reports aren’t really accurate, in my opinion, and I freely have an Echo device in my bedroom – and my children’s rooms. But if you are concerned, feel free to read the original news reports for further info.

Blog: Is Philips Hue Too Expensive?

Me sleeping with various Philips Hue equipment
Me sleeping with various Philips Hue equipment

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post explaining whether I thought Philips Hue was too expensive. (TL;DR: I concluded that having access to the whole Hue ecosystem makes it worth the high initial price).

However I have recently updated the article following some feedback. I still feel that Philips Hue is one of the better smart lighting systems out there, but I’d be interested to know your thoughts too.

Wrapping Up

Thanks for reading today’s newsletter. As always, if you have any questions (or just want to say ‘hi’), please feel free to reply to this email.

I am continuing to watch for any new smart home products (or features) announced in CES 2023, and I’m especially keeping an eye on whether new products are Matter and/or Thread compatible.
I will include any big news and updates from CES 2023 on YouTube and TikTok, along with the next newsletter.

Until then, have a good one!

– Tristan

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!

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