Home Drone: How to Militarize the Smart Home with the Ring Always Home Camera

J. D. Schnepf, Michael Richardson

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Amazon launched the Ring Always Home Camera with a promotional video featuring the mobile security drone flying into action to stop a home intruder. The addition of the domestic security drone into the housewife’s arsenal expands the everyday militarism of security subjectivity, even as it imagines a “better” domestic laborer—one trained not only to be watchful but also to patrol the home and protect property. The Ring Always Home Camera suggests that to be a good securitized citizen is to make the home transparent, not only to the optical eye of the drone’s camera but also to its machine vision navigation apparatus. Networked to Ring’s home security system, the depiction of the appliance in the video forwards a new corporate vision of domestic security—one that introduces networked aeriality, as well as militarized modes of perceiving and knowing into domestic space.

This essay is a part of the Roundtable called “The Housewife’s Secret Arsenal” (henceforth HSA); a collection of eight object-oriented engagements focusing on particular material instantiations of domesticated war. The title of this roundtable is deliberately tongue-in-cheek reminding readers of the many ways that militarisms can be invisible to their users yet persistent in the form of mundane household items that aid in the labor of homemaking. Juxtaposing the deliberately stereotyped “housewife” with the theater of war raises questions about the quiet migration of these objects and technologies from battlefield to kitchen, or bathroom, or garden. Gathered together as an “arsenal,” their uncanny proximity to one another becomes a key critical tool in asking how war comes to find itself at home in our lives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalCatalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience
Issue number1
Publication statusSubmitted - 4-Apr-2022


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