Amazon-owned Ring is now rolling out a new Geofence feature to help automate at least some of the features found in its app. As its branding implies, the Ring Geofence is a purely software-side change that sets up location-based boundaries. But those boundaries aren't necessarily meant to manage the top-rated security products Ring sells. Instead, they're meant to provide helpful tips, reminders, and automation of the app.
If Ring Geofence doesn't automate Ring's cameras and sensors, what does it do?
The best example of how Ring Geofence can be useful comes in the form of how Ring handles alerts and reminders. In effect, it automates them on a per-user basis.
The example provided by the company starts with setting up a Geofence. That's a user-defined boundary around the home or business protected by Ring devices. The setting itself is found in the side menu of the Ring app — with the update now rolling for all users on all platforms. Once activated, users can customize the boundaries of Geofence to best suit their needs. The automation then occurs on the app side.
Once enabled, Geofence can send alerts based on whether the boundary has been crossed. For instance, it can remind users to switch their security system over to "Away" mode. In effect, reminding users to disarm or arm their system.
The system can also be set up to automatically snooze alarms when it senses that the boundary has been crossed. So users can walk up to their own front door without getting an alert from a Ring Video Doorbell that there's somebody at the door. Ring snoozes that alert temporarily too, so the motion alerts are reactivated after users get inside.
Is Geofence safe to use, since it uses real-time location data?
While Geofence is based on real-time location data, used by the app, it doesn't collect that data. The data is retained only for long enough to identify whether the user-defined boundaries have been crossed.
Perhaps as importantly, those settings and alerts are user-specific. So they only appear on the device they've been set on. They don't duplicate on other signed-in devices or for Shared Users. So users' location data should remain safely on-device, on a device-by-device basis.