About the advanced motion detection system used in Ring devices

Ring uses two different types of motion detection systems in its doorbell and security camera products. While both are very effective at what they do, they both work on different principles and are optimised for different purposes. This article will explain the differences between the two different types of motion detection systems and what products they are found in.

The basics

These are the two types of motion detection systems Ring uses in its products:

  • Advanced motion detection: This system uses a camera for motion detection rather than the heat signatures used by the passive infrared sensors. It is the only option for Ring's wired products and the default option for Ring's battery-powered products. It is optimised for a fuller feature set and allows a greater degree of customisation.
  • Infrared motion detection: This system runs using passive infrared sensors and is optional for Ring's battery-powered products. It is optimised for low-power operations to save on battery power. Ring's three-sensor system allows for significant customisation.

Advanced Motion Detection

This system interprets the output of the camera for motion detection. This gives you a considerable amount of added flexibility and better protection from false motion notifications because of a "human detection” system. Through a combination of face and body-shape analysis, it can often differentiate between humans and other living things.


This system also gives more customisation options by letting you draw up to three Customisable Motion Zones in the camera’s view to watch for motion. These zones allow you to define a specific area that you want your Ring to cover while ignoring everything outside that area.

By drawing your motion zones to exclude frequently accessed areas such as public paths and roads, you can reduce the number of "false positive" motion notifications (such as cars driving by) and greatly increase the effectiveness of your Ring device.

Infrared motion detection

This system features an array of three PIR motion sensors, each detecting across a bit more than a third of the total coverage area. It identifies visitors by a moving heat signature and sending a signal to your smart device when it detects one. Since PIRs look for heat, if a warm object is too small (like a Chihuahua), it won’t be detected.

However, if a warm non-human object is large enough (like a Great Dane), you might get a false Notification. Fortunately, you can control the sensors' range and sensitivity using the controls in the Ring app.


Working in tandem

Some of Ring's hardwired devices, such as the Floodlight Cam and the Spotlight Cam Wired, feature both PIR and camera-based customisable motion detection systems. In these products, the PIR sensors are used to trigger the lights (with a little help from the camera), and the camera is used to trigger motion notifications.

This gives you the ultra-wide coverage of the PIR to trigger the lights whenever there’s movement around, as well as the sophisticated analysis capabilities of the camera.

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