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I Would Simply Smack the Tiny Spy Drone

Ring's new flying spycam is horrifying but consider this: you can probably smash it.

Earlier this week we were all treated to this sneak peek at the next step in our technodystopian future, courtesy of Ring, the home security company best known for giving your data to the police and also being extremely easy to hack. It is this thing:

Here is my question: what happens if the burglar simply decides to smack the small flying thing out of the air? That’s what I would do if I were a burglar, entering a home with the express purpose of robbing it. If I saw some flying-ass Roomba thing coming at me I would simply smash it with my hand or something I could grab to smash it with. A tennis racket, perhaps. If I were a burglar I would start bringing a tennis racket.

I reached out to Ring’s media team to ask them specifically what happens to the drone if a burglar (not me) were to smack it out of the air. I’m not super confident that I’ll get a response back but if I do I’ll update the blog.

I think it’s a fair question, though. The Ring Always Home (ironically named, seeing as during a pandemic most of us are Always Home anyway) is selling a sense of safety, like all of the thousands of other smart home security devices available on the market. Based on 2018 numbers, the latest I could find from a site that wasn’t directly tied to the home security market (lol), burglaries and property crime have been falling for years. A New York Times study on crime data for 25 major U.S. cities showed that property crime was down in 18 of them. I cite these statistics not to turn this blog into a long treatise on the politics and economics of fear linked to crime statistics but to say, generally, that it’s pretty unlikely that anyone is going to break into your house. It just doesn’t happen very often.

And if it does, it seems insane to think that a flying GoPro Roomba is going to be able to do jack shit about it, unless they turn it into a mini-version of the Hellfire missiles covered in sword blades that the U.S. has been using to kill people in the Middle East and Africa lately. To be fair, I’m sure that Amazon (which owns Ring) would make a mini murder-blender-drone if they could, but I doubt autonomous flight capabilities are good enough now that they wouldn’t immediately get sued a hundred times by people who got their faces woodchippered when they got up to piss in the middle of the night. We’ve all seen the videos of Roombas driving though dog shit and smearing it all over the house bumping into shit — there’s no way putting that technology in a thing that flies wouldn’t cause chaos. If peace of mind is worth your money and digital privacy, sure, whatever, buy a smart home security system. Just don’t buy the stupid camera drone or I’ll come over and Vladimir Guerrero that thing into the upper deck of your attic.

Image via Ring.