A new patent application by commerce giant Amazon describes a smart doorbell that would use a camera to monitor users’ neighborhoods using facial recognition technology and report suspicious activity to the authorities. Needless to say, it immediately made privacy advocates uncomfortable
The patent for the doorbell lists as its inventor James Siminoff, the CEO of home security startup Ring, which Amazon acquired in February 2018.
There’s no guarantee that a patent will become an actual product — remember those goofy VR rollerskates Google filed an application for in November? — but CNN speculated that Amazon’s interest in the doorbell is connected to its social network called Neighbors, which is built on Ring technology and is meant to share information about thieves who steal packages.