Today, smart home security company Ring shared that their popular Neighbors feature is receiving its own standalone app. Called Neighbors by Ring (opens in new tab), the app aims to give users the opportunity to help reduce crime in their neighborhoods.
In Ring's blog post announcing the launch, the company explains that though its video doorbells and other security cameras lend themselves well to personal use, its real mission has always been to help communities as a whole keep the neighborhoods they live in safe and secure. The Neighbors app keeps you in contact with your neighbors as well as local law enforcement, allowing you to "take a stand against crime" in tandem with the rest of your community.
To get started in the app, you'll be asked to sign up for an account. You don't need a Ring doorbell or security cam in order to do so, and all information you give the app (including your name and exact location) will remain private unless you specifically decide to post it. After signing up and allowing the app to access your location, you can designate a custom neighborhood comprised of your home and the area surrounding it. After that, you're good to go! You'll begin receiving notifications when anyone in your area shares a crime or safety alert. If you like, you can also scroll through neighborhood happenings in the Neighbors newsfeed, share your own alerts, videos, comments and tips, and work with local law enforcement if something particularly dangerous is going on.
In addition to posts from other individuals living in your neighborhood, the Ring News Team will also keep you updated with all the latest news in your area. This includes things like fires, street closures, arrests, break-ins, and other threats or community-related issues based on your specific location.
If you'd like to try the Neighbors app for yourself, you can download it to your iPhone or iPad by tapping the link below. Though in my head this sort of thing has serious potential to get creepy and mob-like — especially in the current sociopolitical climate — much like any other piece of technology, it depends on how it's used. I will say if you decide to utilize the Neighbors app, keep a good head on your shoulders as you do.
- Neighbors by Ring - Free - Download now (opens in new tab)
Have you used Ring's Neighbors feature before? What has your experience been like? Let us know in the comments.
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Tory Foulk is a writer at Mobile Nations. She lives at the intersection of technology and sorcery and enjoys radio, bees, and houses in small towns. When she isn't working on articles, you'll likely find her listening to her favorite podcasts in a carefully curated blanket nest. You can follow her on Twitter at @tsfoulk.
What are the privacy protections? What do we give up for the benefits?
"…all information you give the app (including your name and exact location) will remain private unless you specifically decide to post it" Generally you're making public as much as you want to, but by public I assume not to everyone as this article states:
"The Neighbors app keeps you in contact with your neighbors as well as local law enforcement" Which makes sense. It seems like they're keeping on top of privacy.
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