One day, the Ring Doorbell from Amazon might keep tabs on your neighborhood using biometric data

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The Ring Doorbell may one day be able to detect a person’s “odor” when they arrive at your front door. Image: Jessica Hill (AP) – In order to detect a “suspect” individual, the firm has been granted patents for the use of scent and skin texture. When I first heard about Amazon’s plans to bring smell-o-vision to consumers, I assumed it would be some far-off time before it became a reality. Because of this, it’s understandable that its practical implementation would be, to put it mildly, tricky.

Its doorbell cameras may be able to identify a person’s scent in the future, according to patents submitted by the business in this regard. But this isn’t even the end of the story. The Ring doorbells can also scan to detect “suspect” persons based on their skin texture, walking style, and vocalizations, amongst other things. What’s the worst that might happen?

From a search of more than 12 recently granted patents, Insider discovered the new technology. They discovered that the patents detail a rather sophisticated monitoring network that doesn’t seem all that scary.

In the United States, one Ring patent was submitted and obtained with the name “Neighborhood Alert Mode.” While it may seem like a Nextdoor complaint, at its foundation, it is community monitoring. It’s not necessary for your neighbor to write an elaborate description of the person they think is a danger to the neighborhood—because what could go wrong there?—instead they can just send you an image or video of the individual they’re concerned about. Ring will then send a signal to other video doorbells in the network, even if the individual does not approach the door.

There are multiple references to facial recognition and other biometric identifiers in the patent for Amazon’s Ring doorbell, even though it does not actually provide facial recognition as Google’s Nest camera series does at present. The patent cites this:

It is possible to use a biometric identifier to identify someone based on their physiology or behavior. There is a correlation between the form of the body and physiological parameters. But these are only a few of the many techniques that might be used to identify a person. An individual may have behavioral features, such as how fast they type or how they walk or how well they recognize their own voice.

It’s here that the smell-o-vision, or “odor recognition,” comes into play, according to the patent. However, there is no solid information on how this will be accomplished. Another puzzle is why you need to smell someone to figure out what they want, even though the function appears more about recognizing a certain person than anything else.

Amazon has been given a total of 17 patents related to face recognition, according to an insider. Amazon has denied using face recognition or biometrics in any of its products or services, according to both The Independent and Insider. It said that “patents filed or granted do not always represent goods and services that are under development.”

When it comes to the usage of Ring cameras, Amazon’s Ring brand, which the corporation purchased in 2018, has a shady past. Home surveillance equipment have been pushed by police agencies in the past, and the Neighborhood app has had its own security difficulties.

“Surveillance” is a term Amazon has previously used to describe Ring goods, which Insider discovered in one of the company’s patents refers to obtaining “partial facial photographs” of a person or utilizing the biometric data to assist in criminal prosecution. Your real-life neighbors may also be a bit uneasy about the fact that your Ring devices are part of a private monitoring network.

The doorbell camera industry has grown significantly in recent years, and there are now a wide range of alternatives available. Topping our list is the Google Nest battery-powered doorbell, which has locally stored face recognition only shared with other Nest cameras on your network.