As fast as ideas are coming, new devices are coming equally as fast. The topic of Internet-enabled Video Door Answering devices is one that is very active and new products are coming out monthly, sometimes weekly. The sensation started, in earnest, with the Ring, a simple, easy-to-install device that mounts near your front door, connects to your WiFi, and enables you to speak to anyone that is at your door whether you are home or 100 miles away. Since the Ring came out, there have been others that are following suit, each with just a little twist on features and functions.
Shortly after the Ring came we saw the SmartBus version come out, which has the same basic functions but adds the ability to activate an electric door strike so you can open the door for someone remotely. Both the SmartBus and the Ring have motion sensors to tell you when someone is at the door in addition to the standard doorbell function of someone pushing it to ring the bell. The primary form of notification for both of these units is through an app. When someone rings the doorbell, you get a notification on your mobile device. You can then answer and speak to the person at the door without them knowing whether you are home or not. Just in case the residents in the house don’t have their phone near them, both of these devices come with available chime units that ring in the house, much like a traditional doorbell.
Not long after these devices were introduced came Nortek’s GoControl brand with another version. It is a little more compact and also very easy to install, but with one more little twist. Your existing doorbell has 9-16VDC at the doorbell, which can be used to power any of these devices. The difference with the GoControl model is that when you wire in the doorbell, it will ring your existing doorbell chime, so it doesn’t need the separate chime units that come with the earlier units we mentioned. It still rings to an app, stores notifications, and keeps logs of traffic at the front door.
Another device to keep in mind is the Yale WiFi Digital Door Viewer. Like some of the other video door answering devices, you can use your smartphone to answer the door from anywhere at anytime using an app. The difference between this device and the others is with the installation. It literally replaces the existing peephole in the door and can take as little as 10 minutes to install. It comes with the Yale Look Door Viewer, which is an LCD screen in full color that mounts on the interior side of the door. It also allows for a two-way conversation with a visitor and has a Micro SD card slot to store images and videos, including the time and date stamp.
Circling back around to the Ring, they have now partnered with LockState and their WiFi lock. They have integrated the LockState WiFi door app with the Ring so that you can now unlock the front door with a press of a virtual button rather than needing a wired-in electric door strike. It’s but another development in what is a quickly-changing product segment that is growing in popularity.
At Home Controls we work with most of the products that we carry. In fact, several of us here currently have these devices in our homes and would be happy to help you with the options that are available and find a solution that works best for you. So please, don’t hesitate to call our toll free number at 800-266-8765 (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific, Monday – Friday) for free support and product advice.