The Importance Of The Wireless Doorbell

from the where-does-this-lead? dept

There's a short blurb over at Infoworld about a new wireless doorbell that actually hooks up your doorbell to a cellular phone system. This way, when the doorbell rings, it can alert your mobile phone -- and you can talk to whoever is at your door and even let them in remotely if you're not home. While at first, that might not sound all that special, it does demonstrate how wireless technology is going well beyond its original uses. Most people think of how mobile phones enabled them to do what they did before (talk on the phone), but do it while mobile. But what can often be more interesting is how such mobility allows for entirely new applications and services that simply couldn't exist before. That's not to say that the wireless doorbell is all that useful. In fact, I'm not sure there's really all that much demand for it. But, it's still encouraging to see people experimenting with allowing new types of products and services built on top of what the last generation of technology allows. For all the talk of how the mobile phone market was becoming saturated due to so many people owning phones, for those who view it as a starting platform for much more interesting offerings, it seems like there's plenty of potential.

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  • identicon
    Matt, 22 Feb 2007 @ 8:42pm

    I wonder what the developers of the Open Moko platform will come up with in the coming months

    http://www.openmoko.org/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Eugene, 22 Feb 2007 @ 10:59pm

    Should have been done sooner

    Actually in our apartment building, the Enterphone (doorbell) sysem goes thru a PSTN (telephone line) so I got it forwarded over to my cell phone so I can talk to whoever is buzzing and let them in if I need to.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Aliyah, 23 Feb 2007 @ 1:06am

    Not so new technology

    I concur with the above comment. Fifteen years ago, after we'd moved to another city, we could still let workers onto our old property by 'buzzing' them in through our home telephone. Pressing nine on the phone keypad would unlock the front gate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MrPaladin, 23 Feb 2007 @ 3:04am

    Small steps but innovative...

    yep its only a small step up from buzzing a home phone...

    but its a step in the right direction...

    only problem is if I was in a building where anyone could buzz in remotly.... I'd be locking my doors extra tight...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      ehrichweiss, 23 Feb 2007 @ 7:48am

      Re: Small steps but innovative...

      "only problem is if I was in a building where anyone could buzz in remotly.... I'd be locking my doors extra tight..."

      I was about to say exactly that. There's an old trick where if you want in an apt building or the building's parking lot or whatever with one of these, all you have to do is carry a portable touchtone dialer, ring a random number there, wait for them to answer and hit the redial button that's programmed to enter all the possible codes and presto, you're in...assuming you hold the dialer next to the mic/speaker thing.

      I used to be a pizza delivery driver so this was common practice since some customers just can't figure out that when they have a pizza on the way they should also listen for them to buzz. Hell, some went to the freakin' grocery knowing we'd be there in less than 20 minutes...and that we were within 2 minutes of the grocery AND their house.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    BR, 23 Feb 2007 @ 5:49am

    New?

    This is cool, but definitely not new. My doorbell has been calling my cell for about 3 years now, allowing a 2-way conversation and opening (or not) the door for visitors. I can see who's at the door on my TV or a password-protected web page.

    I can log in and watch the door anytime, which is only slightly less boring than reality TV. It's supposed to be able to send an image to compatible cell phones, although I've never tried that.

    Mine uses a land line to call, but there's a cellular version too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2007 @ 6:29am

    I like this idea...

    Its alot easier to steal someones phone than their keys...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      haywood, 23 Feb 2007 @ 6:38am

      Re: I like this idea...

      The same way there are garage door code broadcasters that will open virtually any garage door, the thieves will have a field day with this one. There is likely a security hole you could drive a semi through.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2007 @ 6:43am

    Sorry I'm not home right now...

    ...but if you leave name and a detailed message, I'll answer the door as soon as possible.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kelly, 23 Feb 2007 @ 7:01am

    wireless doorbell

    Yes, this is great use of technology, but alas also another potential risk for its abuse. This would open the 'door', literally, for people to easily gain access to your home or apartment with other technology....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    EXrider, 23 Feb 2007 @ 7:34am

    Wireless Doorbell

    Oh... I saw the title of the article and thought they were talking about the cheap-ass Broan wireless doorbells... like the one I bought at Big Lots... that chimes freaking Big Ben every time my neighbor uses his keyless entry on his damn Explorer... at ridiculous hours like 3:17AM

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Petréa Mitchell, 23 Feb 2007 @ 8:57am

    Applying it the other way

    I'd want to use this to convince people that I *am* home, and that they should go try to rob some other house...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ted Shelton, 23 Feb 2007 @ 10:39am

    The elimination of keys

    What is the easiest way into your house? OK, breaking a window. But after that? Picking the lock. Or just getting a copy of your key from one of the many people that you may want to have able to access your house (cleaners, repair people, childcare workers, etc).

    Introduction of an easy to install alternative to having a lock and key, which will allow you to control access to your home when you are not there, is an enormous leap forward for society. Sure, I can get one of the systems described in some of the comments above -- but at significant cost for installation and for the equipment. The innovation of a GSM door mechanism means that this is now an affordable alternative to a lock and key.

    Another interesting element is that this lets you know when people have come to your house. Always wondered when your house cleaner really was arriving while you were at work? Now you know.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Eric, 23 Feb 2007 @ 10:56am

    Doorbells are obsolete

    These days, when I get to someone's house, the first thing I do is ring their cell phone rather than the doorbell. It's a courtesy to everyone else inside who might not want to listen to the damn buzzer, and actually speaking to the person means that they know I'm there.

    It's also better when picking up, or getting picked up - someone doesn't have to park or get out of the car.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2007 @ 12:46pm

      Re: Doorbells are obsolete

      So, instead of listening to the doorbell they have to listen to the phone ring?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Tyshaun, 23 Feb 2007 @ 1:29pm

      Re: Doorbells are obsolete

      These days, when I get to someone's house, the first thing I do is ring their cell phone rather than the doorbell. It's a courtesy to everyone else inside who might not want to listen to the damn buzzer, and actually speaking to the person means that they know I'm there.

      It's also better when picking up, or getting picked up - someone doesn't have to park or get out of the car.
      >


      So what do you do if they don't have a phone or you don't get cell service in their area? Leave and find a payphone, or maybe not on their door and ask to use their phone to call them?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tyshaun, 23 Feb 2007 @ 1:27pm

    the next big thing...

    "door bell emails". Imagine, you could have a little webcam set up and every time someone rings your doorbelll, an e-mail is sent. You could then let repair people in from work and stuff like that. The system could also double as a poor mans surveillance camera.

    Point me the way to the patent office!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Warren, 23 Feb 2007 @ 8:12pm

    They are useful.

    I am caregiver to my 96 year old grandmother, and I've bought a unit at Ace Hardware for ~13 bucks.

    I've given her the button so if she has trouble in the night, she can push the button and ring the bell in my room.

    This is the second time I've used this system this way. In five years of use, it has gone off *once* without the button.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matt Bennett, 26 Feb 2007 @ 10:51am

    I can totally see this for letting a plumber in or something.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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