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 optimized 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:

  • Infrared Motion Detection: This system runs using passive infrared sensors and is featured in all of Ring's battery-based products. It is optimized for low-power operations to save on battery power. Ring's three-sensor system allows for significant customization.
  • Camera-based Motion Detection: This system uses a camera for motion detection rather than the heat signatures used by the passive infrared sensors. It's featured in all of Ring's products and is optimized for a fuller feature set and allows a greater degree of customization. 

Passive Infrared (PIR) Motion Detectors

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 Motion Alert. Fortunately, you can control the sensors' range and sensitivity using the controls in the Ring App. 

Camera-based 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 alerts because of a "human detection” system. Through a combination of face and body-shape analysis, it can often discriminate between humans and other living things.

This system also gives more customization options by letting you draw up to three areas in the camera’s view to watch for motion. These "motion 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 alerts (such as cars driving by) and greatly increase the effectiveness of your Ring.

Working In Tandem

The key to Advanced Motion Detection is how these two systems work together. The PIR sensors are used to trigger the lights (with a little help from the camera), and the camera is used to trigger Motion Alerts. This gives you the ultra-wide coverage of the PIR to trigger the lights whenever there’s movement around, and the sophisticated analysis capabilities of the camera.

Note: If you have a battery-powered Ring device and you switched to Advanced Motion Detection, you will no longer see the option for Motion Verification in your Ring app. 


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