I always know a new product is excellent when its makers describe it as "next-level."
"Next-level of what? Insanity?," I hear you moan, on seeing the new, wondrous Ring Always Home Cam.
Oh, how can you be such a killjoy?
When Amazon's Ring describes it as "Next-Level Compact, Lightweight, Autonomously Flying Indoor Security Camera," surely you leap toward your ceiling and exclaim: "Finally, something from Amazon I actually want! A drone that flies around my living room!"
For this really is an indoor drone that flies around the room, taking pictures the minute you want. Who can wait, moreover, for the minute your dog leaps up at it and tries to take it out with a nosebutt?
The possibilities with the Always Home Cam are as plentiful as they are delicious.
This drone can tell you when you've left the oven on. Because, of course, that rancid burning smell won't have told you to raise your backside from its customary prostrate slumber before your house catches fire.
You can also use to it constantly harass your dog, your kids, or even your long-suffering spouse.
Just imagine how much more your little Jocasta will love you when you send the Always Home Cam into her bedroom to make sure she's doing her homework.
Ring isn't, of course, selling it like that.
Instead, it offers: "Ever feel like you left the door unlocked, or forgot to turn off the stove? Do you receive a Ring Alarm alert and immediately want to see what's happening? The Ring Always Home Cam is here to help. This compact, lightweight, autonomously flying indoor camera gives even greater visibility when you're not home."
If there's anything that I want when I'm not home, it's even greater visibility of my home. Because how can I relax outside my home if I don't have even greater visibility of what's going on inside it?
After all, paranoia is one of technology's most fertile feeding grounds. It's likely in second place after self-aggrandizement.
Naturally, one or two fearful thoughts enter my mind.
What if hackers -- or, perish the concept -- the police begin to fly this thing around your house? ('Just a routine search, sir.')
What if it flies into the bathroom at an extremely inappropriate moment?
What if it mistakes your Roomba for a female Always Home Cam?
If you're scared of this magical new device, you'd be astonished how much it scares intruders. As Amazon's ad shows, just the mere sight of an Always Home Cam will send a burglar scurrying out of your house and straight to his psychotherapist.
Please, I'd no more allow a Ring product near my house than I'd allow Jeff Bezos to tug at my individual leg hairs. The company's security snafus are legendary. But I can see so very many people wanting one of these to impress friends and depress family members.
Naturally, Amazon insists this thing has privacy built into its core, just like the company's altruism. It only films when it's high above the level of your dining table.
Equally naturally, this device won't be available until next year.
Perhaps this is because, on Amazon's own website, images of the Always Home Cam are adorned with a disclaimer: "Ring Always Home Cam has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. Ring Always Home Cam is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased until authorization is obtained."
I can never remember an Amazon product that has excited me more. And to think it makes a buzzing noise while it flies around the house, too.