Last week we rounded up some funny/crazy/beautifully designed door knockers. And, while those are great for the analog crowd, there are a ton of fun high-tech options to announce your home visitors. Whether you want to be able to see the UPS guy dropping off your packages while sitting in your office across town, or you want to program your bell to play the song of the summer (Blurred Lines, anyone?), there’s a doorbell for you. (Side note: there’s even one for your pet so they can let you know when it’s time to go outside!)
1. TFT Wireless Video Door Phone Intercom ($218): If you’re looking for a basic video intercom system for your home, this wireless model is a good option. It covers the essentials—an outdoor camera, two screens that you can either mount or move from room to room, and the ability to wirelessly unlock your door. It’s a good beginner option. For the next generation, check out the Doorbot, which we’ll tell you about below.
2. iChime ($90): We told you about Doorjamz, a doorbell that could play any tune you want, earlier this spring. Sadly, the project didn’t reach it’s funding goal on Indiegogo. But we found one that, while not quite as customizable as Doorjamz, still lets you play your own music. So, in addition to the pre-set chimes (which you can listen to here), you can record up to six sounds or songs directly to the iChime from your mp3 player or smartphone. The sound quality might not be as good as a stereo speaker, but we definitely want to be able to play our favorite song when guests arrive.
3. Doorbot ($199):When you’re ready to take your video doorbell to the next level, go for the Doorbot. Currently available for pre-order with a ship date in September, Doorbot is a video doorbell that shows what the camera sees on your smartphone. Not only does this mean you can check who’s at the door from the couch (and decide whether or not it’s worth getting up!), but you can also see who is at your door while you’re away—whether at your office during the day or on vacation. As an added security feature, Doorbot only shows you the video of who’s at your door, there’s no display to show your guest a stream of you. So you can safely “answer” the door even if you’re on the beach without letting the person know you’re not at home. Brilliant!
4. Pebble Smart Doggie Doorbell ($30): This is a different take on the doorbell because you can use it inside or outside of your home. A successful Indiegogo campaign, the Pebble Smart Doorbell designed to prevent your dogs from scratching up either the inside or outside of your doors when they need to be let out or want back in. To help train your dog to use the doorbell, which they press with their nose, you can hide a treat behind the button. Once your pup is trained, they can ring the bell, which you hang at nose-level, to let you know it’s time to go outside, and if you have a fenced in yard, ring the outside bell to be let back in once they’re done. We imagine it would take a bit of time to get them fully trained, but it’s certainly better than whining or scratching at the door.
These two options are still prototypes, but we’ll be buying them the second they’re available for pre-order.
5. Touch Wood: Unlike traditional doorbells that rely on a button to let you know your guests have arrived, Touch Wood, designed by Gordon Cormack Kedslie, turns your guests’ knock into a doorbell. Each of the three panels on the wood box has a sensor behind it that triggers a specific tone or sound when the the panel is knocked. You can change the tone or sound for each panel, so no two Touch Woods or knocks will be the same. Check out the Touch Wood in action:
We can imagine friends and family members coming up with “signature knocks” so you can tell it’s them before you open the door—just like an analog version of the custom ringtone. (via Yanko Design)
6. Musical Doorbell: Not only is this doorbell beautiful, with aluminum tuning bars and sycamore casing, it’s also an amazing blend of high and low tech. The sound is produced by hammers pinging each of the metal rods, but you can connect the doorbell to iTunes or an other music software on your computer and program it to play whatever song you want. It was originally designed as a thesis project by Mike Skene at the University of Dundee. Take a look at the video, and see why we hope this design someday becomes a reality. (via Yanko Design)
Do you have a doorbell in your home? Would you consider upgrading to one of these high-tech options?