It doesn’t look too much different to a regular doorbell. But a new app has been designed to let you know who’s at your door, wherever you are.
iDoorCam has a mini camera mounted to a doorbell-like button. When visitors arrive and press the bell, a companion app links up to your smartphone so you can see who is there.
The householder can then decide whether they want to answer the call, or reject it, even speaking to the person at the door remotely, using their iOS or Android device.
It’s a gizmo that’s sure to prove popular with a whole range of users. Those away from home a lot on business will be able to keep an eye on who’s calling. And, elderly and other vulnerable people will be able to see who is at the door before they decide whether or not to answer.
It could also assist those who are hard of hearing – as an image will pop up on their smartphone when someone is at the door.
iDoorCam should prevent those moments when you open the door only for your heart to sink when you realise it’s an unwanted salesman.
There’s even an infrared LED light to make sure you can still see who is there at night.
But, if you don’t want to even hear the doorbell, you can turn it to Do Not Disturb Mode, perhaps so visitors don’t wake a sleeping baby, or if you’re trying to work from home and don’t want any distractions.
You simply replace your existing doorbell with iDoorCam before linking it to your phone or tablet through your home Wi-Fi network. Once you’ve created an account with the app, you can start using it.
The app is free for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, but it only works when you buy the iDoorCam device, which retails for £105.
iDoorCam co-founder Desiree Mejia, said: “I was always on the go and wanted a solution to stay connected to my home while I was working or travelling.
“I then found comfort in the idea of always knowing who is at the door, whether I was home or not – the idea took off from there.”
She said she believed iDoorCam would “help homeowners and other users feel safe by allowing them to see who is at their door, and it gives them control over how they want to answer it.”
So far, the new gizmo has received mixed reactions, with some forum users saying: “I’m so getting one of these,” and “what an excellent idea. Wish I’d thought of it.”
But others point out that it would be easy to rip off the wall or door and steal. Further criticism of iDoorCam is it could actually make home security worse rather than better.
One tech forum user said: “It would be relatively easy for the caller to get confirmation that the person is not at home, as opposed to just ignoring the door or asleep, and could burgle the place. At the moment if you don’t answer the door, the caller does not know if the property is empty.”