When my doorbell goes ding dong and the dogs go crazy, the last thing I want to do (aside from shushing my beasts) is actually talk to the person at the door who I probably didn't even want to talk to in the first place. Unless it's the pizza guy.
Fortunately, a Wi-Fi-enabled doorbell called DoorBot could make the mystery of a random household visitor a thing of the past. The $169 high-tech door device features a built-in camera (with infrared for nighttime support) that captures live video of the person who presses the button. From there, a notification pops up on the owner's device that gives the option to display the video feed on the app (works with iOS and Android tablets and smartphones).
The DoorBot user can speak to a visitor through the app, and even unlock the door if necessary courtesy of the additional support for Lockitron. Four AA batteries keep DoorBot powered up for about a year.
I asked a DoorBot representative about the possibility of someone stealing the fancy doorbell and whether it packs any sort of anti-theft capabilities, and the rep told me there wasn't any way to stop someone from stealing it, nor can it capture footage of a person doing so. The rep reminded me that people commonly populate the front of their homes with expensive outdoor items -- such as lighting and other home accessories -- that carry the same risk of theft.
Regardless of that risk (and the possibility of being hacked), the DoorBot costs much less than most traditional home automation systems with similar answering capabilities.
Design think tank Edison Jr. created the DoorBot, which touched down yesterday on crowdfunding site Christie Street and has already obtained nearly $20,000 in funding -- a very strong start, but still a long way to go from the $250,000 goal (with 44 days left).