Today’s entry in my week-long notable CES gadget series is one that I’ve had my eye on for the last couple of months and finally got a chance to see Monday night. The DoorBot – a smartphone-connected video doorbell – is the self-employed person’s godsend, since it lets such people (guilty as charged) be home even when they’re not.
It’s simple, really: The DoorBot attaches to the front door jamb of a house, where the doorbell would normally go. Once connected to your home Wi-Fi network, it alerts your smartphone whenever somebody is at the door. You can then peer at them through the device’s camera and talk to them through two-way audio. That way, you can give them instructions if you’re not home or otherwise indisposed.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve missed an important delivery. Or worse – having missed said delivery, I’ve journeyed out to the local FedEx dropoff only to return home to find… that I just missed another delivery. Doh, indeed!
DoorBot inventor James Siminoff had the same experience, evidently. As he writes on the company’s website:
“We’re a group of inventors and when we first began, we worked out of my garage. The problem was we’d never hear the doorbell. I specifically remember one day when I missed an important package. I looked down at my desk in frustration and noticed my smartphone; at that moment, I knew that DoorBot needed to be invented.”
The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company seems to have thought of everything too. The $199 device is attached using a proprietary screw, making it pretty hard to steal. If it does happen, the company promises to replace it free of charge.
You can also attach it to a wired doorbell, which will still ring if your Wi-Fi network goes down. The DoorBot even sends out a notification when its battery needs recharging.
It’s definitely one gizmo in the whole connected home trend that I can’t wait to try out. I imagine it’ll dramatically cut down my return visits to FedEx.