Ring announces app support for third-party ONVIF cameras

Amazon-owned Ring is making a move toward a more open app platform with the announcement of ONVIF compatibility in a future app update. ONVIF, or Open Network Video Interface Forum, is a platform that allows IP cameras from multiple brands to interface with each other. What does this mean for Ring, and more importantly, you? Let’s take a closer look down below.

Ring’s ONVIF support could make it a go-to for home security solutions

According to The Verge, Ring plans to roll out ONVIF support sometime in April. The exact launch has yet to be announced, but it should be in the next month or so.

With Ring’s ONVIF support, you’ll be able to add compatible cameras to the Ring app. With this, you’ll be able to have one simplified and unified hub for all of your security cameras. Not only that, but all ONVID cameras will have access to Ring’s smart security features “and more.” This means that smart notifications, including People Only mode, as well as event history and timeline features will be available for all added cameras.

Now, connecting ONVIF cameras to the Ring isn’t the simplest task in the world. In order to do it, you’ll need a compatible ONVIF camera, the Ring Alarm Pro Base Station, and a Ring Protect Pro subscription. The Ring Alarm Pro Base Station has quite a few features in and of itself, including a built-in eero 6 mesh router to keep your home or business covered with wireless networking as well as security. Plus, with the Ring Protect Pro subscription, your home or business cameras will be connected 24/7 even if the internet goes out thanks to LTE as well as the ability to store video locally through Ring Edge.

Not all of the cameras around your home will be ONVIF compatible, however. Generally, compatibility is limited to brands like Amcrest, Reolink, and other similar surveillance companies. However, not all cameras from those brands will be compatible, as Ring is going to have a minimum requirements list that looks a little like this:

  • Support a video stream of 1080p or lower
  • Support H.264 encoding
  • Have ONVIF enabled
  • Have a valid password (and have it set)

9to5Toys’ take

I wouldn’t have thought that Amazon’s Ring would be the first major home security platform to adopt an open standard like this, but I applaud them. Knowing that you can now use cameras not made by Ring with all Ring features, so long as you have the necessary hardware and subscriptions, is quite comforting, to say the least. I’ll be waiting to see a full compatibility list once Amazon releases it closer to the launch of ONVIF in a month or two, but either way, it’s nice to know that you’ll be able to expand a Ring camera setup without buying a ton of Ring cameras soon.

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