Smart Doorbell, Ensure Your Home Security, and Enjoy Smart Lifestyle!

Smart Doorbell is a Home Security device and a smart replacement for traditional doorbells and video phones. This device is Wi-Fi-enabled; equipped with a motion sensor; competent to send alerts on your mobile phone; provides two-way audio communication with visitors at your door; capable to arrange an instant video call on your mobile; has a facility for video recording, and night vision technology to efficiently capture images in the night/low lighting conditions.

The above features and functionalities make a video doorbell a utility device for your home security and your comfort. 

Components of Smart Doorbell

Smart Video doorbells generally comprise three main functional units:

  • Indoor Base Station
  • Outdoor Camera Unit
  • OEM Mobile App

The Indoor base station is the wireless router that connects with the home WiFi network. This unit also houses an SD Card slot used to store the data locally and a Chime with multiple chime tune options. The Base station can be plugged into an external power socket at a suitable place inside the house.

The Outdoor camera unit is installed outside your house on/beside the house gate/door. This unit includes a camera with night vision technology and a microphone and speaker set for a two-way talk between you and your visitors.

OEM’s Smart doorbell app is another important component of the Smart doorbell. You have to install the app on your Smartphone and configure the base station in the app with the Home WiFi. You also need to pair the Camera unit with your Smartphone to complete the system setup.

The doorbell may also include certain accessories like screws, 3M Gum board or dismantling pin/small screwdriver, etc. as an instant aid for mounting the camera unit on the wall or door.

Please consider that the Base station, the Camera unit, your Smartphone, your home WiFi, and the external internet network constitute an Internet of Things (i.e. IoT network).

Functions of Smart Doorbell

Once the Video doorbell detects a motion within a distance of 3-10 feet or identifies the presence of a person in front of the camera for 12-15 seconds; or senses the press of the doorbell button, it triggers an alert/notification on your mobile phone. The alert can be a text message or may also carry an image preview with a link to quickly launch the live view/real-time video footage.

You will receive an instant video call on your smartphone when someone presses the doorbell button. The video is captured by the inbuilt camera and the video call happens over the mobile app.

You can use the inbuilt microphone and speaker to have two-way audio communication with the visitors. Also, if you are engaged in a meeting and cannot afford any disturbance, you can set either Do-not-disturb mode to avoid any message from the doorbell; or use a pre-recorded text or voice message to communicate to the visitors, or you can share the smart doorbell device with your family members to accept the calls.

Certain doorbells also come with a face recognition feature, so at times, you know exactly who the visitor is before the visitor presses the doorbell. The doorbell also creates a daily visitors log to keep track of visitors and provide data for review and reference later.

The videos are stored in the base station locally on the SD card. You can also subscribe and configure cloud storage to store historical data/videos. To optimize the storage, you can configure the trigger conditions also for recording the videos. You can select a trigger condition to be the detection of motion or detection of a person or pressing of a bell button, such that the videos will be recorded only when the set criterion is met. This feature will be very useful to create routines to automate bell operations under various scenarios.

The chime unit is also located in the base station. It generally comes with multiple chime tune options and you can select and change one using your smartphone as per your choice eg. Qubo Video Doorbell offers 36 chime tune options.

You will get relatively good quality images/videos in low lighting conditions or in night within a distance of approx. 7m-8m due to the night vision capability of the camera. The Night Vision cameras use Infrared LEDs to capture the image and may automatically switch between day and night modes. Night Vision cameras come with both monochromatic and color night vision. Commonly, they use monochrome filters to generate black & white images/videos, which are optimal to view.

The doorbells are IP65 weather-resistant and can withstand a temperature range from -20°C to +50°C, so can be used generously in outdoor conditions. The doorbells can also trigger an inbuilt alarm against any unauthorized dismantling; it can also actuate a central alarm system when configured with an integrated Smart Home setup.

Modes and Routines in Smart Doorbells

The doorbell operations may be considered as the actions like taking a snap at the motion trigger, sending a mobile notification, placing a video call at the press of the bell button, starting the video recording, playing the voice message, etc.

The choice of these actions may depend upon your Mode, whether you are at home or away from home, or you are in a meeting or it is the nighttime, etc., hence the responses from the doorbell should also be configurable according to the situation.

Optimizing the above activities will not only save resources including money but, also add a lot more utility and convenience to your life. You can create routines in the mobile app to obtain automation i.e. preset trigger and a corresponding pre-set action from the doorbell. 

Depending on the case, you can insert the following settings:

  • Mode: Home, Away, Night, Do-Not-Disturb
Various Modes in the Doorbell product. Like Home, Away, Night, Do-Not-Disturb for quick and easy settings
  • Trigger/Sensing: motion detection, person detection, the press of doorbell button

recording setting in smart doorbell to Trigger/Sensing like motion detection, person detection, the press of doorbell button
  • Action/Actuation: video calling, video recording, audio play, chime bell, mobile notification, etc.
Routine creation in smart doorbell for Action/Actuation like video calling, video recording, audio play, chime bell, mobile notification, etc.

For example, consider a case, that you along with your family are away from home and you want the doorbell to place a video call on your mobile phone in place of a chime at your home when someone presses the bell button. To obtain this scenario you can set the routine in the mobile app by switching the Mode as Away, setting the trigger as doorbell press, and the action as video calling with the Chime bell as deactivated.

You can save the above settings to create a routine in the app, which will perform the tasks automatically as and when triggered. Similarly, you can add more routines to your app suiting your day-to-day working scenarios. This way you can optimize the operations of Smart Video Doorbell as per your preferences and requirements.

Factors to Consider before Purchase

Video Quality: Generally the Doorbell camera comes with High Definition resolution, however, the high dynamic range (HDR) / wide dynamic range (WDR) function enhances the quality of images/videos under high contrasted background lighting conditions.

Latency in Video and Voice: Latency/delays in live video and audio may sometimes defeat the purpose of installing a smart doorbell. So you must consider the camera specifications, WiFi connection, and video load times while evaluating the product.

Image Customization: You can enhance the image/video quality by making certain adjustments in brightness, contrast, and other parameters. This feature is useful to adjust the images with heavily illuminated backgrounds or other special site conditions.

Viewing Angle:  A wide-angle lens provides a clear and wide view outside the door captured by the camera. A traditional 3:4 image may be more focused and cover limited features in the surrounding. For eg., capturing the head-to-toe view of the persons while neglecting wider right & left sections of the view.

Motion Zones: To minimize the false alerts, you may wish to create certain motion zones wherein any motion detected by sensors should not trigger an alert. This may save you from unnecessary notifications, recordings, and alarms caused by for eg. a bird. Different Brands’ apps support a different number of zone creations. So you must enquire details on this factor also.

Power Source: As a poorly charged battery may stop the doorbell to work, you have to be cautious to change them as early as they start affecting the functioning of the doorbell. Alternatively, you can also check the doorbell w.r.t. type of power requirement i.e. AC mains powered or rechargeable or AAA battery powered. Although the battery life would depend upon the usage, generally OEMs claim that the AAA batteries work for 5-6 months, but practically it has been observed that the batteries drain out within 1-2 months at moderate usage.

The Smart doorbell, as a lifestyle product, can add more value when used in integration with other smart home devices like alarm systems, CCTV, etc. The Smart doorbell with Smart features and functionalities can be a valuable asset in your Smart home.

1 thought on “Smart Doorbell, Ensure Your Home Security, and Enjoy Smart Lifestyle!”

  1. Comprehensive article on Smart doorbells. Please add a review on leading smart doorbell brands……

    Reply

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