A new concept for a smart doorbell equipped with a wireless camera that can connect you to whoever is at your doorstep using your smartphone or tablet is under development and it just might change the way we communicate with people who are coming to visit us.
Video intercom that can let you see who is on the other side of the door is an old concept which is implemented in many homes across the country. The DoorBot takes this simple idea a few vital steps further, allowing you to interact with whoever is on the other side of the door wherever you are – be it on the garden, garage, work or even when you are on a vacation thousands of miles away from home.
The DoorBot is actually a pretty straight forward concept. You can think about it like a standalone day/night WIFI camera which operates on 4 AA batteries (no complex electrical wiring required and the batteries should last for about a year of usasge) which you simply hang on the wall next to your door. After connecting the unit to your home wireless network and setting it up all you need to do is install a free app on your iPhone or Android based device and each time somebody rings your bell you will get a massage on your mobile device letting you know and allowing you to either answer and have a voice conversation when you can see the person on the other side of your door (although he or she will only be able to hear you) or disregard the door ring like you do when you don’t want people bugging you (you can check out the video stream before answering – if it’s someone you don’t want to deal with, simply ignore the notification – the person at the door will never realize you were home).
Doorbot could actually be good for offices as well as other places where you can’t always be but would like to keep an eye open if anybody stops by looking for you (like a messenger with a package you need). The only major flaw we see with this concept is that the Doorbot itself might be too good to pass for a thief just walking by your door – after all the only thing which holds it in place are 4 screws…
The project is being crowed funded on the website Christie Street when it needs to reach of $250,000. If successful, people who purchased the Doorbot should receive their unit around July 2013. Each unit of Doorbot cost about $170 while you can buy it together with Lockitron (another wireless system which will allow you to open or lock your door using your mobile device) for about $320.
Iddo has a B.A. in Philosophy and Cognitive Science and an M.A. in Philosophy of Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is currently writing his Ph.D. thesis on the relationship between the scientific community and industry. Iddo was awarded the 2006 Bar Hillel philosophy of science prize for his work on the relationship between science and technology. He is a member of the board of the lifeboat foundation and was the editor of several high-profile science and technology websites since 1999.