Understanding and Optimizing Motion Detection with Motion Frequency

Motion Frequency is a user-accessible control that allows you to adjust your motion detection protocols to provide a balance between consistent alerts and preserving battery life.

This article will detail exactly what Motion Frequency is, and how you can best utilize it to optimize your Ring device's motion detection capabilities. 

Motion Detection and the Problem with Traffic Patterns

Your Ring device comes with a very powerful motion detection sensors that are constantly scanning the areas they've been set to monitor. Should they detect motion, they're designed to inform you by sending a motion alert to the Ring app on your mobile device. 

Problems arise, though, when the area being monitored is subject to repetitive motion within a relatively short span of time. For example, kids playing in your front yard may trigger your motion alerts over and over again as they continually criss-cross the area being monitored by your Ring device. In addition to creating an unwanted series of false alerts, too many false alerts can run down the battery in battery-operated Ring devices.

It's exactly this sort of situation that the Motion Frequency algorithm was designed to alleviate. 

The Motion Frequency Algorithm

Ring's Motion Frequency algorithm is an internal program that runs inside of your Ring device. It analyzes the traffic patterns of detected motions, looking for repetitive patterns. When it detects such a pattern, it essentially "sleeps" your device for a certain period of time, cutting down the number of motion alerts you'll get from the same set of stimuli. The more time a repetitive pattern of motion continues, the longer the time between issuing motion alerts. 

Motion Frequency Controls

The Motion Frequency controls (found under the Motion Settings in your Ring app) are used to adjust the Motion Frequency Algorithm based on the individual circumstances of your monitored area. Motion Frequency controls have three settings that can be changed at will and are useful under a variety of conditions. 

  • Periodically: Setting the Motion Frequency algorithm to "Light" will maximize the system's sensitivity to repetitive motion and the amount of time the system will "sleep" after detecting such motions. The result of this is that the system will more readily identify a motion source as something that shouldn't be reported and extend the amount of time between reports. This will substantially cut down on the number of motion alerts you'll receive and can help preserve battery life. The light setting is best used in heavily trafficked areas (such as yards where kids play) where the possibility of unwanted motion alerts is high. 
  • Regularly: This is the default setting for the system and will cut down the sensitivity to repetitive motion and shorten the system's "sleep timer." This setting is ideal for areas where you don't expect much in the way of human traffic but may be dealing with repetitive alerts due to animals. 
  • Frequently: This setting minimizes the system's sensitivity to repetitive motion and by default will tend to react to each motion it detects as a discrete event. If it does detect repetitive motion, it also eliminates the system's sleep time before the next round of scanning. This setting is useful for areas that get minimal traffic such as back and side yards or for areas that require heightened security. While it will drain the batteries faster than other settings, it also provides the most coverage for an area. This setting is also useful when adjusting your motion settings.


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