Your Ring video doorbell is about to get a lot chattier with folks on your doorstep, courtesy of a new Alexa-enabled feature that's rolling out to the Ring app.
Ring announced on Wednesday three new "Smart Responses" features—including one powered by Alexa—that allow your Ring doorbell to greet visitors at your door, take messages, and even tell delivery personnel where to leave packages. You can also set supported Ring doorbells to issue canned responses or even warn people that they’re being monitored and recorded.
First up is Alexa Greetings, which allows Alexa to greet anyone who pushes the doorbell button on your Ring Video Doorbell Pro. “Hi, this is Alexa, what is the purpose of your visit,” Alexa will ask, and if you’re not home or you’re not in the mood to answer the door, Alexa can take a message, or she can give instructions on where to leave packages.
You can review messages left with Alexa later in the Ring app or watch them live, and you can also set how long Alexa should wait before greeting a visitor who rings the doorbell.
Alexa Greetings sounds like a nifty feature (we haven’t tested it yet), but keep in mind that it only works on Ring Video Doorbell Pro devices sold after 2017. You’ll also need to subscribe to one of Ring’s Protect subscription plans (which start at $3 a month for a single camera) to use Alexa Greetings.
Don’t have a Ring Video Doorbell Pro, but still want your Ring doorbell to greet visitors? If so, you could try Quick Replies, which work on all Ring video doorbells except for the Ring Video Doorbell Wired.
While the Quick Replies won’t let visitors chat with Alexa, it will let you choose from six canned messages, such as “Please leave the package outside,” “Hi, we’ll be right there,” and “If you’d like to leave a message, you can do it now.”
You don’t need a Ring Protect subscription to watch the responses live, but you will need to pony up if you want to review messages later in the Ring app.
Finally, users of wired Ring video doorbells (save, again, for the Ring Video Doorbell Wired) can turn on Motion Warnings, which give visitors—welcome or otherwise—a heads up that they’re being watched.
If your doorbell detects motion, the Motion Warnings feature will make your device say “Warning, you are now being monitored and recorded by Ring.”
Updated shortly after publication to clarify that only one of Ring’s new “smart responses” features—Alexa Greetings—is powered by Alexa.