Managing Director Dave Ward opens the door to Simon Wittenberg for a chat on all things Ring, and the brand’s latest product innovations.
Luxurious Magazine: What are some of your career highlights so far, and what drew you to join Ring?
Dave Ward: I joined Ring in February 2018, inspired by the company’s mission to make neighbourhoods safer, and was excited by the opportunity to help build on Ring’s offering of home security devices and services.
I’ve worked in the retail technology industry for over 20 years, and I wanted to bring my passion for smart home technology to the company.
One personal highlight for me is working for a business that offers devices my mum can install herself, helping her keep her home safe, and adding that peace of mind has been amazing.
LM: The exterior design of Ring doorbells has been maintained for quite a while, but your technology has continued to evolve. Do you think that this has been a key reason for the brand’s success to date?
DW: It’s definitely a part of the success, as our doorbells are designed to both be highly functional and instantly recognisable for consumers. Customer feedback is a key factor to the range of products we create and the new features that we introduce, so we want to ensure we are innovating while also keeping the core design of our products that we know customers love.
For example, when designing the new Ring Video Doorbell 4, the aesthetics didn’t change, but literally, every single piece inside it did. The key was to get everything necessary into what is now an iconic design. We wanted it to be as instantly recognisable as previous versions when seen from 30 feet away.
At Ring, we continue to innovate on our customers’ behalf to make our devices as user friendly as possible. There’s no magic wand for this – the key is to just keep building and developing. Plus, when you redesign a product, there’s the question of sustainability. Nobody wants to have an old product on their house or in their hands, so we want to create products that are designed to last and be out there for longer, without customers feeling like they are compromising on the latest features.
LM: Security is, of course, a big concern for many. What features have been built-in to stop owners of Ring products from being at risk from others “listening” or accessing live or stored images without permission?
DW: At Ring, privacy, security and user control are at the heart of everything we do. This includes designing our products with features that keep those principles front and centre. We are always striving to innovate and invent new and better ways to maintain customer privacy and security while giving users complete control over their devices and personal information.
Last year, we introduced Control Centre, a simple, easy-to-use privacy and security dashboard on the Ring app. The dashboard is available to all Ring users and includes settings, such as video sharing and linked accounts, that give our customers control over all-important privacy and security aspects.
Later this year, Ring will be one of the first to offer End-to-End video Encryption to our customers, building on our foundation of existing security features, including encrypting all videos in storage and during transmission. This already applies to all Ring customers’ videos and offers an additional, advanced privacy and security protection layer. Once End-to-End Encryption is available, users will be able to enable the feature for one or multiple compatible Ring devices from Control Centre at no additional cost.
LM: The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is your most advanced wired doorbell yet. What features does it have that put this product ahead of the competition?
DW: Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 now includes radar technology, which has enabled us to create two really exciting new features resulting from nearly three years of hard work across the Ring team: 3D Motion Detection and Bird’s Eye View. Together, these new features provide you with context about when and where a motion event took place and an aerial map view of the movement on your property. It’s a natural next step in home security, as the more information you have, the quicker you can take action.
With 3D Motion Detection, you can customise the specific distance threshold for 3D Motion Detection, and your Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 captures video when someone crosses that threshold. The radar sensor determines when that object crosses by measuring its distance and angle from the front of the camera. It has been designed to prevent false notifications and focus on alerting customers about the things they want to know about and will help us reach the stage where we can completely cut down on unwanted motion alerts.
LM: Some of your products are battery-operated, whilst some are hard-wired. How easy is the installation process, and do you need the services of a qualified electrician?
DW: All of Ring’s products are designed with easy installation in mind; many of our battery-powered cameras, doorbells and Ring Alarm security system can be set up in a matter of minutes, and we provide all the tools and instructions to install with the product.
Many of our wired products can be bought with a plug-in adapter so that you can simply pop it in a plug socket and start using them. However, if you are looking to use your existing doorbell wiring, we do often recommend professional installation by an electrician to give you peace of mind that everything has been installed safely.
LM: If someone already has an existing “traditional” doorbell, how simple is it to swap it for a Ring Video Doorbell? Is it possible to use the existing wiring?
DW: All of our doorbells are designed to be powered by existing doorbell wiring if the customer would like to power their doorbell that way. The installation process varies from doorbell to doorbell, but wiring your Ring doorbell is a fairly simple process and often just requires a transformer being installed for your wiring. Our Help Centre provides guidance on installing and wiring our doorbells and security cameras, but if you’re ever unsure about the process, we’d always recommend getting a qualified electrician to help.
LM: Are Ring Video Doorbells compatible with both Android and Apple devices?
DW: The Ring App is free to download on both Android and Apple devices and lets you control and link all of your Ring security devices in one place, as well as review, recorded videos and alerts if you have a Ring Protect subscription. Through the app, users are able to view an HD video stream of their camera and speak to whoever may be there using two-way talk.
All Ring devices are also compatible with Alexa-enabled products for even more convenience, whether that is asking Alexa to show you the visitors at your front door or enabling Ring alerts and Live View on your Fire TV.
LM: Who is your target market?
DW: We pride ourselves on offering affordable home security products at a range of price points for every type of home. Our video doorbell range starts from just £49 and reaches all the way to £349. Regardless of your property type or your budget, you deserve to feel safe in your home. That’s why the products and services that offer this should be easy to use, easy to understand and affordable.
We’ve seen users customise Ring devices for their location, from a cabin in the Swedish woods to an Amsterdam houseboat. At Ring, we have a track record that, instead of chasing features, we focus on what customers most value so that they can choose the solutions that best fit their needs.
LM: Apart from Video Doorbells, what other products do you offer today’s security-conscious buyers?
DW: Our key goal is to create whole-home security for everyone. Alongside our video doorbells, Ring provides a range of home security cameras that can be linked with your doorbell to monitor all corners of your home.
One benefit of smart home security devices is that they can connect together and provide the flexibility to add on additional devices as you continue to build out the system that is right for you. So while you might start with a video doorbell, you can easily add additional products, from cameras to home alarm systems, at a later date.
The range starts from just £49 for the Indoor Cam, a compact security camera, small enough to fit anywhere inside your home. If you are looking for more advanced security, a device such as Floodlight Cam Wired Pro, which includes powerful LED beams, security siren and 3D Motion Detection, is available for a higher price point of £219 and is perfect for those with a larger garden to monitor.
Alongside the security cameras, we also have Ring Alarm (2nd Gen), a DIY customisable Alarm system that offers affordable, commitment-free security where it’s needed most. We recently announced the second generation of this system, with a new sleek design.
The system is designed to fit any home and provides real-time notifications when someone enters a room, opens a window or sets off the siren to a smartphone or tablet, so you always stay updated with any activity around your home.
What’s great is that Ring Alarm doesn’t require permanent modifications or drilling, so even if you’re renting or move house, you can secure your home. We recently announced the launch of Ring Alarm Outdoor Siren (above), which works together with Ring Alarm to emit a loud siren and flash to alert you and your neighbours if your alarm system is triggered.
For a complete security system, the Ring Alarm can be linked to existing Security Cameras and Ring Video Doorbells within the Ring App, so that when the Alarm is triggered, you can choose to automatically activate all your Ring cameras to begin capturing video, even if they do not detect motion.
LM: What’s next on the horizon in terms of the evolution of your product range?
DW: I can’t comment on the roadmap for future product launches, but I can say that Ring will continue making product decisions on what will best empower our customers with an affordable and effective way to monitor and secure homes. We’re always appreciative of customer feedback, and it goes a long way to guiding our decisions on future products and launches.
LM: Beyond work-life, what are your luxuries in life?
DW: I love to spend time with my family, whether that’s travelling (in a non-COVID time) or having fun together at home. We bought a new pizza oven during the lockdown, so we’ve been experimenting with new and fun toppings. I think my favourite so far has been making a pizza desert using lemon curd and caramelising a sugar crust on top. I know it’s a bit wild, but it really works!
LM: Thank you for your time Dave, and it has been a pleasure speaking to you.
Ring – Where and How?
For more information on Ring devices and services, visit ring.com.
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