As the Halloween royalty descends—the superheroes, the ghosts, the witches, and the kitty cats—one Ring helps them all.
What trees are to Christmas and food delivery is to football, the Ring Video Doorbell is to Halloween. Millions of buttons are expected to be repeatedly pushed on October 31, just on Ring doorbells alone.
The Ring team doesn’t take Halloween lightly. They’ve been prepping for this year’s Trick-or-Treat frenzy since before last All Hallows’ Eve, testing server capacity and creating new ways for customers to add autumnal touches to their Ring devices. “Creating a delightful experience at the front door is one of our most important team goals,” says Joseph Dong, a product marketing manager for Ring who works with product and creative teams to build seasonal features. “We know that users love customization, and so we work every year to create better and better options.”
Read on to learn about the ways you can use your Ring devices for extra fun this Halloween, and how the team at Ring helps bring them to life.
1.Dress up your doorbell
Ring offers faceplate designs appropriate for the seasons. For Halloween, of course, you can spruce up your Ring Video Doorbells with pumpkins, ghosts, and falling leaves, or with spiderwebs and bats. And for the winter holidays, you can use snowflake, candy cane, and holiday light-inspired designs to spread cheer to your guests.
2.Make your home a monster’s lair with Chime and App Alert Tones
If you have a Ring Chime or Chime Pro, you can access custom Halloween sounds so that your home will be filled with the eerie sounds of ghosts and vampires whenever anyone presses your Ring Video Doorbell. Sounds like these can make your home as haunted as a monster’s lair (in the best kind of way). Changing your Chime Tone is easy, and whether or not you have a Ring Chime device, you can also select a Halloween-inspired tone as the notification sound for the Ring app on your phone.
3.Leave a message from the other side of the veilFamily Stops By With Pizza, Gets Spooky Halloween Surprise | RingTV
Ring Quick Replies are like an answering machine for your door. Ring customers can preset Halloween-themed messages that play when a visitor rings the doorbell or choose the messages in the Live View when visitors are at the door. This fall, users can download scripted Halloween messages for incoming trick-or-treaters.
Last year’s most popular message was a witch’s greeting, Dong says, so the Ring team brought it back. This year, they’ve also added options for werewolf, ghoul, and vampire greetings.
The creepiest day of the year
As Dong says, building all of these seasonal features is no small feat. But ensuring these special Chime Tones and Quick Replies—and all of the other things Ring devices can do—work without a hitch is another challenge entirely.
As the day approaches, the biggest fear for Ring Chief Technology Officer Josh Roth are any potential ghosts in the machine. When traffic soars more than six times typical usage as trick-or-treaters roam door to door, he and his team have to ensure servers won’t fail and service will continue without interruption.
It’s a big ordeal, so they start planning in June, mapping out the technical support they’ll need to ensure they have the capacity to keep all the alerts sounding. Roth’s team also runs game-day testing, which means mimicking the holiday demand to ensure the Ring team has all of the Amazon Web Services cloud service support they need, plus extra, just in case. They also test how they route the cloud-based traffic, in case one area risks overload.
A big help, Roth says, is the rolling nature of the timing. Unlike major sporting events, where people across the country and world have parties at the exact same time, Halloween flows. There’s an early uptick on the east coast, then a later swell as the sun starts to dip in the midwestern skies. That’s easier to support.
But Roth and the Ring team aren’t just observing and working from afar. They join in the fun, wearing costumes as they work to keep the servers humming (Roth once came as a centaur; one of his staff crafted a handmade, human-sized Ring Video Doorbell costume).
As November 1 dawns, social media and text messages teem with Ring videos from the night—parents sharing Halloween videos with grandparents, and friends sharing the Ring video they’ve captured on social media.
The Ring teams take a few days to let the systems and people catch up from their biggest night of the year.
Then, they make plans to do it all again.