Ring is still a relatively new home security company. They began with networked doorbells and have expanded their product lines to include security cameras and lights—essentially, a full home security system.
Their announcement of this service expansion comes only a few weeks after IoT –leader Nest announced its plans to shift into the home security market. Nest has unveiled a $499 package which includes a keypad with several sensors that can monitor two doors or windows.
Ring’s product, the Ring Protect, though, is taking an aggressive approach to the emerging product line. Ring has announced a base unit for only $199 but this includes just one door or window sensor as well as one motion detectors. However, an additional door or window sensor is only $20; an additional motion sensor is only $30.
Apples to apples, then, the Ring home security system is still far more affordable than the Nest product (at a ratio of 10 windows and five rooms for the same price as Nest’s two sensor offer).
Perhaps more importantly, though, subscribing to Ring’s monitoring service is more affordable—and, perhaps, more flexible—than that of Nest. Ring offers a “free service” that sends alerts to your phone, but you can also pay just $100 a year for Ring to monitor your system and call someone to visit your home if a sensor goes off. It saves you the trouble, basically. While Nest has not yet revealed the price it plans for the subscription monitoring, Ring’s offer is quite similar to something that security company ADT might offer.
ADT sells this subscription for no less than $450 a year.
Of course, this price is just a promise: we will not know if Ring will be able to justify such a low price yet and still offer comparable service. After all, ADT—and companies like them—have been offering these home security services for the past several decades at roughly this $500 price point (and nothing has changed, much, in terms of technology).
Still, Ring CEO and founder Jamie Siminoff is optimistic, if not cautious. He argues, too, that this initial product will help the company continue to develop smarter and smarter home security systems in the future. He says, “I hate to compete on price because I think price is a terrible way to differentiate yourself. But in this particular category…there’s companies like ADT that has been absolutely blasting their customers with high prices and [have] really been marketing companies, not true technology companies.”