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Amazon Rolls Out Indoor Drones, Car Alarm As Home Security Gadgets

Amazon.com Inc. has announced an indoor drone for recording security video in homes and car products for alerting vehicle owners about attempted break-ins.

The news reflects Amazon’s drive into the security business since it acquired the smart doorbell and camera company Ring in 2018. That has led to criticism by civil liberties advocates who have taken issue with services that let Ring users share videos with law enforcement.

Amazon’s indoor drone, called the Ring Always Home Cam, flies to take video in predetermined areas and will cost $249. The company announced a physical car alarm gadget, as well as Ring Car Connect software that first will be compatible with Tesla Inc. models. The software will play back video and tell customers if their vehicle is unlocked, among other features.

The company announced these products at its annual September devices launch event, held virtually for the first time. Shares of Amazon rose about 1% in late trade.

The event also showcased a new cloud-based game streaming service, called Luna, that is similar to Google’s Stadia.

Amazon also announced new spherical Echo speakers, upgrades such as a deletion feature for all prior recordings on voice-controlled products and an improved ability to discern whether speech is directed at Alexa or at others in a household.

The world’s largest online retailer has worked for years to popularize gadgets that customers activate through speech. In the U.S. market for smart speakers, it has the biggest share, ahead of Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc’s Google. A goal of Amazon has been to draw shoppers to more services from the company through its Alexa voice assistant.

Amazon’s stock is up more than 60% this year while the benchmark S&P 500 is roughly flat. Sales have jumped as more consumers turned to online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic. In July, Amazon announced its biggest quarterly profit ever.

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