The introduction of the Ring Access Controller Pro at CES 2020 is the company's first product entry in the access control space. I got an exclusive demo of the device, which enables users to remotely operate their electronically-controlled access gate right from a mobile device. According to a press release, when paired with a Ring Video Doorbell or Cam, users can open Live View, see who is at the gate, and securely let them in right from the app.
More interestingly, both the Ring PR rep and the product expert stressed that this product is not DIY; in fact, the product is hard-wired into an electronic gate system and "requires professional installation."
The statement reflects the company's gradual shift to additionally providing professionally installed systems as the equipment becomes more complicated that simply replacing a doorbell.
Piggybacking on this concept, Ring also introduced the new Ring X Line, which, according to the marketing speak on the display, is “designed with the professional installer in mind.” The product line – set to launch in March – is a set of "bundles" of existing Ring devices and services. Each bundle is built around a Ring doorbell or security camera and includes some combination of the following products: Ring Video Doorbell 2; Ring Video Doorbell Pro; Ring Video Doorbell Elite with faceplate; Ring Video Doorbell Elite Paired with Access Controller Pro; Stick Up Cam Elite; Spotlight Cam Wired; Spotlight Cam Mount and Floodlight Cam.
But what does "designed with the professional installer in mind" mean? The company says the "Ring X line of products will be available through Ring's network of 5k independent installers in North America, and will not be available online or on the shelves in big box retailers." That said, the company also promises that X Line bundles will be available via retailers – but not as shelf items; instead, they must be specifically ordered.
Whether Ring will look to expand their network of independent installers – perhaps to many of the security integrators who read this magazine – is not clear. The success of this X Line may go a long way in determining that.