Saturday, 6 February 2016

Ring Video Doorbell: description, setup, and use by a person who is blind

Ring Video Doorbell from


Ring Video Doorbell: answer Doorbell with video/ audio, two way audio conversation (only user sees video), and detect motion at front door via iPhone over Wi-Fi network..

Ring or Motion can be toggle on/off independently.

Simply: when Doorbell is rung or motion detected, answer on iPhone.

Both physical unit and iOs app very accessible to people who are blind.




I’ve had my Ring Video Doorbell now for several days, and would like to share the following with you if you want to just know what it’s all about or you purchase one and want to get started and perhaps like me are blind, have an iPhone, and are looking at expanding your connect home.


1. What’s in the Box:


Ring Video Doorbell unit,

mounting bracket,

4 philips screws to attach bracket to wall,

plugs to insert in to brick drilled wholes for mounting bracket screws,

two star ended security screws to secure unit to mounting bracket,

double ended tool for securing philip  screws and using the star ended security screws to secure unit to mounting bracket,

handle to use with double ended tool,

drill bit for use on brick work (drill not included smile),

level to insure mounting bracket is straight (not exactly accessible, but can’t have everything smile),,

Diode (to connect to existing doorbell wiring),

Micro USB cable for charging rechargeable battery, and

getting started guide


I must say, the box that the unit came in was well designed/compact,  all the parts snuggly sitting in their own compartments. Everything was extremely easy to identify and find.  Great that you just have everything to install the unit.


2. Physical Description of the Ring Video Doorbell:


Rectangular unit made of plastic (feels solid and good quality) which sits over the mounting bracket when attached to wall,

Middle top of front face: raised round small camera lens,

Bottom middle of front face: large raised round button when pressed rings doorbell (sound heard on Ring Video Doorbell itself), with notification sent via connected Wi-Fi to iPhone, and

Bottom of unit: two dedicated security screws on with side locking unit to mounting bracket.

No obvious physical speaker grill or microphone grill.

Unit powered by rechargeable battery or wired to existing Doorbell power.  Unit taken off mounting bracket to charge rechargeable battery via USB cable from mains power: approximate 10 hours to full charge (depending on use, charge lasts up to 12 months).

Unit is rain resistant, but not water proof.

Mounting bracket felt a bit flimsy, but once unit attached and on wall, felt solid.


Just to make it clear, when installing the mounting bracket/unit, camera is above the ring button (don’t seem to explain this minor fact in the visual videos as visually its bleeding obvious smile).


Visually, the top of the unit where the camera is, is black, with the remainder of the case being silver, including the rung button which has a blue surround.

When the button is pressed, LED lights up on the button to show the caller that something as happened as well as the unit playing a Doorbell sound.

The unit is available in several colours, but I’m assuming that this silver one that I got is the default colour if no colour is specified in the order.


3. Installation/Setup:


Download and install the “Ring app from iOS App Store - 

Ring Video Doorbell,, Version 3.0.

Run the Ring app on the iOs device to create a user login or login with an existing account.

Press button at rear of Ring Video Doorbell to commence pairing to home Wi-Fi network.

The Wi-Fi pairing button is on the back of the unit.  If you turn it over in the same orientation: i.e. with the camera now facing the table at the top of the unit: at the back on the left hand side at the same level of the 3 group of pins: you will find a round raised port with the button slightly indented in the middle: this is the pairing button.

Switch out of app and go to Settings, Wi-Fi, and tap on Ring to join the device to your Home Wi-Fi network putting in Wi-Fi password..

Switch back to app and complete setup of the Ring Doorbell: giving the it a name, updating the firmware if requested (which I did), etc.

Once setup wizard complete, will be at home screen of the Ring app


screw bracket to wall (in my case, attached bracket with wood screws to feature porch entry wall)

Put Ring Video Doorbell in bracket

Attach security screws to bottom of unit to secure on bracket and prevent theft.


Putting the mounting bracket on the wall, screwing it in with the 4 screws, slotting in the Ring Video Doorbell unit itself in to the mounting bracket, and securing with the two security screes took me less than 15 minutes: screwing screws in by hand is a pain smile.


30 day Cloud Recording trial offered when app is used.  Allows user to go back and play video/audio recordings of Ring and Motion detected events over the last six months.  Otherwise, only live events can be accessed as they occur.


4. Ring App Home Screen Controls (flicking top left to bottom right using VoiceOver):


Note: most of the controls on the screen are not identified as buttons, but activate when the 1 finger double tap is used with VoiceOver.  I also found the easiest way to jump to the top or bottom of the screen was by using the 4 finger double tap VoiceOver gesture to go to the to or bottom of the screen when done at either the top or bottom of the screen.

Where VoiceOver has announced button, I’ve put the word “button” next to the control, otherwise it’s just the straight text.


Menu - top left - (brings up further options for Settings, Plan, Store etc.

My Devices (VoiceOver reporting this as a heading).


Ring, name of unit, owner


Note - the next control is not identified by Voiceover: i.e. when you flick on to it, you here the usual click from VoiceOver to denote you have landed on a control, but no announcement.  1 finger double tapping on this control brings up the Setup Wizard to install a Video Doorbell, Stick Up Cam, Chime or DoorBot, with a further button to purchase these devices from the Ring Store button.  The title of the screen: Setup Wizard” is an identified heading by VoiceOver.  To quit this screen, choose the Cancel button top right hand side of the screen.


Back to the controls after the silent control (Setup Wizard).


ALL ACTIVITY button - shows both Ring and Motion events on screen.

RING button - shows ring events on screen.

MOTION button shows motion events on screen.


When on of these 3 buttons are selected, VoiceOver will say “Selected” for each control: e.g. Selected All Activity button.


Note - depending on what buttons you have chosen above and if you have any events, you’ll get the following event information with 3 groups of buttons for each event (this is part of my ALL ACTIVITY screen):


Front Door, MOTION, - Today 5:28PM

share white icon (brings up a sharing screen to share video with others - Mail, Messages, Notes etc).

delete white icon (deletes the video - brings up screen to either Delete or Cancel the action).


Front Door, ANSWERED MOTION, - Today 4:02PM

share white icon (brings up a sharing screen to share video with others - Mail, Messages, Notes etc).

delete white icon (deletes the video - brings up screen to either Delete or Cancel the action).


Front Door, ACCEPTED RING, - Today 2:30PM

share white icon (brings up a sharing screen to share video with others - Mail, Messages, Notes etc).

delete white icon (deletes the video - brings up screen to either Delete or Cancel the action).


And so on.  If there  is no event information, place holder text appears letting the user know that event info will appear here for All Activities, Ring Activity or Motion Activity.


Note - Oddly, I found choosing the Delete button started playing the video the same way as choosing the event button, both video screens of which had the Delete button available.


If you do have Cloud Recording, just be aware that it will take some time for the recorded event to be uploaded to the cloud, so whilst you have the event in the list, it may be a while before you can actually play it immediately after the event which triggered it.


After this event information is the following button:


Your cloud recording trial ends in 27 days, click here to sign up now.

I’m assuming here (and I’ll probably register), that once you have registered for Cloud Recording, that this text will disappear.

In actual fact, this prompt does disappear once you have registered for Cloud Recording as I did after initially writing this post.


This completes the main home screen of the app.


5. Checking the Battery Level of the Ring Video Doorbell (from the Home screen):


Before going on to describe the menu option from the Home screen, if you need to check the battery of the Ring Video Doorbell unit itself, 1 finger double tap on the Ring Doorbell name just under My Devices heading, you will get the following screen:


Back button (top left of the screen)

name of unit heading

device settings option icon wh


button (yes the control is button - double tap to select, flick once and you’ll get battery status).

The USB port to charge the unit is on the back of the unit.  If you turn it over in the same orientation: i.e. with the camera now facing the table at the top of the unit: at the back on the right hand side at the same level of the 3 group of pins: you will find the micro USB port.


After the button or battery actual status if you selected it, are the following controls:

RING ALERTS (heading)



Switch button on (toggle





LINKED CHIMES (this is another chime you can connect to the Ring Video Doorbell that you can put somewhere else in the house).


Your cloud recording trial ends in 27 days, click here to sign up now.


Note - To exit this screen,choose the Back button top left to exit this screen.


6. Choosing Menu from the Home Screen of the App


Choosing the Menu control at the top left of the Home app screen, results in the following screen coming up at the bottom of the Home app screen to, dismiss this new information, double tap on the menu control at the top right of the screen, and you’ll return to the normal Home screen.


your name

your email address

MY DEVICES (heading but not identified as such by VoiceOver)

name of unit and location







3.0 (Version of the app)


The only thing I found I couldn’t do without assistance in Settings was to set the Motion Zones.


The Help Centre was extremely useful with the following help topics:

Account/cloud Video Recording



Product Features

trouble Shooting


Then info on contacting Ring support, Tickets button (submit Helpdesk tickets), and Contacts button.


The Help information is a combination of useful fact sheets and videos that  are to the point and easy to follow.


7. Answering a Call from the Ring Video Doorbell:


When Ring Video Doorbell rings, after pressing the Ring Button on the physical doorbell, following dialog box appears in landscape mode with Home button to the right (flicking with VoiceOver from Left to right):

in-call icon Mic button, 

in-call sound button, 

in-call icon  Zoom out button, 

in-call icon ring plus 00 button,

End Button, and

Talk button.


Mic: mutes Mic when selected.

Sound: mutes sound when selected.

End: ends call when selected.

Talk: Talk to the person at your door.


One thing here I did notice, when this dialog came up, the volume of VoiceOver dropped dramatically and it was difficult to hear the controls when I was flicking over them.  In addition, if your not using headphones on your iPhone, of course, the caller at the front door is going to hear VoiceOver as well.


The difference between the generated dialog for ring verses motion, is that on the motion dialog you don’t have the Mic button, just the Sound button where you can listen to what is going on to cause the motion event, and Talk button if you need to talk if there is indeed someone at your front door that didn’t ring the doorbell but got picked up because of the motion sensor..


Either the Ring or Motion notification will appear on the iPhone if not in the app: acting upon the notification will take you in to the app with the above dialogs to act upon.

I also get both of these notifications on my Apple watch.


8. Playing Videos back from Cloud Recordings:


When Playing a Video Back if using Cloud Storage

Tap on recording from home screen of app

Video starts to play in portrait mode

Controls are: Done, track position Delete recording, Previous track, Play/Pause, Next Track, Download Recording, and Volume.

When a video is playing, double tap to hide or show video controls with VoiceOver.


9. Final Thoughts so Far


I am very happy with how the Ring Video Doorbell itself is working and detecting motion, I still can’t believe how accessible the Ring app is besides the few minor issues I’ve pointed out so far, and I certainly feel a lot more secure at home.


This is a further continuation of my Connected Home adventure as it were: my Netatmo Urban Weather Station, WeMo Switch/Link Light System, and now Ring.  Just for the record, I’m going to throw in my 6 AirPlay Speakers at home in to the mix as well.


The site  where you can login I should also say is fairly accessible with a screen reader as well.


For more information on the Ring Video Doorbell, go to:


Podcast coming in a week or so on my feed:


Feb 2016


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