By all measures, 2019 was a rough year for Ring. The Amazon-owned video doorbell company found itself constantly in the news for its partnerships with police departments throughout the country, and more recently as hackers began posting user account credentials online.
In 2020, Ring is looking to change the momentum back to keeping neighborhoods safe. And it's going to start doing that by updating the Ring mobile app to include a new section called Control Center.
At launch, Control Center will allow users to manage connected devices, third-party service connections, and opt-out of receiving video requests from local police departments. Ring plans to add more privacy and security features to Control Center in the future.
Control Center is expected to be available in the Ring app later this month.
In addition to giving users more control over their accounts and videos, Ring is also releasing several new hardware products.
First up is the Ring Access Controller Pro, a device that allows users to remotely unlock and open an electronic gate directly from the Ring app. The idea here is that the user can view whoever is at their gate using a Ring Video Doorbell or camera, then open the gate to let the person inside. The Access Controller Pro is available starting today for $299 or bundled with a Stick Up Cam Battery for $398.99 on Amazon.com.
Ring is also adding to its smart lighting lineup with new Smart LED Lightbulbs. The A19 and PAR38 bulbs are suited for indoor and outdoor use, respectively, and work with Ring's Bridge for grouping and remote control and settings adjustment. Ring's smart lighting products all work in tandem with its video camera products, with motion in an area triggering a light -- or group of lights -- to light up the area.
There's no word on pricing for Ring's Smart LED Lightbulbs, and Ring has only said that the lightbulbs will be available later this year.
Finally, Ring has updated the rest of its smart lighting lineup to now include built-in solar charging panels. Previously, the floodlight, step light, and path light were all battery-powered. With the new solar options, you can forget batteries and place the devices anywhere they will receive direct sunlight to help keep them charged.
The new Solar Floodlight, Solar Steplight, and Solar Pathlight will go on sale later this year.