Ring doorbells are incredibly useful devices, and they’re about to get even better thanks to better integration with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.
A wave of new features are coming to Ring doorbells and cameras, including the option to have Alexa greet visitors and help keep your home safe from people who come from outside.
Alexa Greetings are designed to make it more convenient for you and guests, with the virtual assistant asking how she can help the person at your door. Based on their response, Alexa can either take a message or provide instructions for any packages being delivered.
Unfortunately, the Alexa Greetings feature is not available for everyone. You’ll need a Ring Video Doorbell Pro and a Ring Protect subscription before this feature is available to you. That starts at $3 a month or $30 for the full year.
If you can’t get to the door right away, Ring is also introducing a new “Quick Replies” feature. Unlike Alexa Greetings, this feature does not involve Alexa and utilizes a pre-recorded message that saves you the hassle of answering the door. It’s also usable without the Ring Protect subscription.
Six active phrases are available, explaining to people that you can’t get to the door and what to do with any deliveries. If you have Ring Protect your visitors will also be able to leave messages that you can play back at your own convenience.
Finally, Ring is adding motion warnings to a number of devices, including wired doorbells, the wired Spotlight Cam, Floodlight Cam, and Indoor Cam. If the device detects motion it will say “Warning – you are now being monitored and recorded by Ring”, and potentially scaring off any unwanted visitors.
It’s not the kind of thing you’d want if your Ring doorbell is facing a busy street, otherwise it’ll never stop warning people that it can see them. So you can turn this feature on and off whenever you like in the Ring app
So, not only do video doorbells let you see who’s at the door before you open it, Ring’s latest wave of features makes it that much more convenient. In fact, you don’t even need to open or personally interact with your visitors, since Alexa can do all the hard work.
How to enable Alexa Greetings on your Ring doorbell
If you have a Ring Video Doorbell Pro, or subscribe to Ring Protect, then you probably want to set up Alexa’s Smart Responses right away. The good news is that it’s very easy to do.
The first thing you need to do is make sure your Ring app is up to date. The feature is still rolling out, so it won’t be available for everyone just yet. Having an up to date app ensures that you can activate and enjoy this new feature as soon as it becomes available.
Next, head into the Ring app and find the “Smart Responses” tile. This is where you can activate all these new features.
Alexa Greetings is the first one you’ll want to set up, and it can be enabled right there on the Smart Responses screen. Once that’s done you need to configure the settings, so make sure to specify how long Alexa should wait before she greets your visitor. Alexa will make it clear that she is Alexa, and not a real person, so there’s no reason to wait too long before she responds. After all there’s no use in wasting anyone’s time without good reason.
You can also tell Alexa where package deliveries should be left. That way your doorbell can direct the delivery person when tell it they have a delivery that doesn’t require a signature.
How to enable Quick Replies and Motion Warnings on your Ring doorbell
Quick Replies can be enabled in the Smart Responses section of the Ring app as well. So the first thing you’ll want to do is head there. Once there you need to hit “Smart Assistant”, and toggle on Quick Replies for the app to take you through the setup process.
There are six pre-set responses to choose from, including asking visitors to leave a message, where to leave packages, and to hang on just a few seconds while you get to the door.
This feature is available on Ring models except the Ring Video Doorbell Wired. You also don’t need a Ring Protect subscription, though it is required if you want to your messages to be saved and available to see later.
Motion Warnings can be turned on and off on specific devices from the device dashboard. It’s a simple on or off, though you will need to set up at least one motion zone if you haven’t already.
Disabling Motion Warnings doesn’t disable motion zones, however. So your Ring will continue to detect and record people it spots heading its way, even if it doesn’t specifically tell them it’s happening.
This article originally ran on tomsguide.com