Early fast fall Ring announced a surprising and exciting expansion of their product line to include automotive monitoring. Amongst the various products and services discussed, a connected car camera was revealed… without imagery. But, today, The Tape Drive may have uncovered the very first photographic evidence of Ring’s elusive car cam.
The Ring car cam was described as featuring both interior- and exterior-facing HD cameras. Yet, only a single cam is visible, in the render above, on what looks to be a rotating head. Should this is indeed be the car cam and two lenses remain in play, the second camera could reside opposite the pictured one. Or it could be embedded in that elbow nub. Speaking of, this is obviously a very unique design — nothing like Garmin’s recently refreshed line of dash cams. So that nub could also be some sort of mounting point and/or maybe the whole thing is designed to hug the back of a rearview mirror – although that’d put the Ring logo upside down when the head pivots to horizontal. But I will say the black plastic and arm curvature does remind me a bit of the Echo Auto mount from Amazon’s sister division.
In any event, beyond its photographic capabilities, the $199 Ring Car Cam was also to ship with a variety of Alexa integrations, enhanced via an optional LTE plan — and that long stalk could come in handy as an antenna housing. Although I could also see cellular connectivity being dropped prior to launch as a cost savings measure… and, instead, relying on smartphone data, via Bluetooth, as the aforementioned Echo Auto and Echo Buds do.
UPDATE 6/18/21 AM: A recently, and likely inadvertently, published support note sheds some additional light on the Ring Car Cam. First, “it securely attaches to the windshield and dashboard of the car, and the cable can be neatly tucked away and out of sight.’ More interesting is that power and additional capabilities are provided by an OBD-II adapter — it’s unclear if this is a unique piece of hardware used solely for the car cam or if it’s to piggy back off the OBD-II Ring Car Alarm. Lastly, Ring confirms LTE is still in play as an upsell option to enable a variety of cool features, like mobile Alexa usage, remote video uploads, emergency crash assistance, and real time tracking should your car be stolen.