The video doorbell has become one of the most popular entry-level home automation devices on the market. People appreciate them not only because of their function, but also their ease-of-use. A video doorbell represents a gateway into a much broader home automation environment, making it the ideal first device for people new to it all.
Needless to say,the first-generation video doorbells didn’t offer much compared to today’s devices. Consumers who prefer only basic functionality can still get it, but with so many more features now built into video doorbells, it makes sense to invest in a top-of-the-line device that offers maximum protection and convenience.
Below are descriptions of five features that homeowners should look for when shopping for a video doorbell. Vivint mentioned them in a recent blog post discussing holiday home security. Whether you are interested in a complete home security system or not, Vivint says a video doorbell can go a long way toward protecting your family and property.
1. Two-Way Audio
This first feature is standard fare: built-in two-way audio. A built-in audio system allows homeowners to directly communicate with anyone standing at the door. This is a valuable feature on a number of levels. For starters, being able to communicate with visitors makes it easier to identify them whether you are home or not.
Two-way communication also gives you the opportunity to warn visitors to walk away should they be planning anything unseemly. The icing on the cake is the fact that a thief or burglar standing at your door has no way of knowing whether you are home or not. Two-way audio makes it clear that you are aware of their presence, but you could be just on the other side of the door or a thousand miles away. They have no idea.
2. Smart Deterrence Capabilities
It goes without saying that criminals are now well aware of the existence of video doorbells. They are starting to look for ways to thwart them. Knowing that, manufacturers are starting to design smart deterrence capabilities to stay one step ahead of criminals.
A smart deterrence system might automatically begin recording and saving video as soon as the device is activated. But then it goes one step further. It plays an audio message warning that a visitor’s presence has been detected and is being recorded. By the time a burglar or thief thinks to cover their face, it is too late.
A warning serves the purpose of deterring any further activity. In other words, it tells an approaching burglar that they might just as well turn around and walk away. Their activity is already being recorded. Continuing to try to break in only jeopardizes their well-being.
3. Package Notification
First-generation video doorbells had no way of distinguishing one visitor from the next. That is changing. Thanks to artificial intelligence and other technologies, some video doorbells have the ability to recognize package deliveries. That is pretty amazing.
Let’s say your neighbor comes knocking on your door while you are away for the day. You will still get a phone alert that someone is approaching your door. You will still be able to bring up a live video feed to check things out. But what if, an hour later, a delivery driver shows up with a package?
A video doorbell equipped with the right technology will be able to tell you that packages have just been delivered. You can bring up your smartphone app to verify the delivery, then call your neighbor and ask them to come over and take the packages for safekeeping. On top of that, the same technology can ignore people who are just passing by, minimizing the number of unnecessary alerts you receive during the day.
4. Defined Detection Areas
Another fantastic feature modern video doorbells offer is the defined detection area. In other words, a companion app allows you to define specific areas within camera view that the device will keep an eye on. These areas, or zones if you will, can also be customized with detection sensitivity.
The main benefit of this technology is to prevent constant alerts every time a car drives by or someone walks down the sidewalk. Customized detection zones give you more control so that you are not constantly being interrupted by things that are of no consequence. All the while, you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you will be alerted when someone actually approaches your door.
5. Smart Lock Integration
Finally, some of the latest video doorbell devices can be fully integrated with smart locks. What is a smart lock? It is an electronic door lock that can be accessed remotely. In many cases, smart locks are also keyless locks. They utilize touch pad PIN codes for entry.
Integrating a video doorbell with a smart lock makes for easier entry. Perhaps you have a child who gets home from school several hours before you get home from work. With a video doorbell and smart lock combination, your child will not need their own set of keys to get in. They won’t need to memorize a combination either. You get a notification on your phone as they approach the door. Then, with one tap of your finger or swipe across the screen, you can unlock the door to let them in.
The same sort of thing works well when having guests visiting from out of town. You can let them in the house as soon as they arrive, even if you are not home. Needless to say,the convenience of combining video doorbells with smart locks is underappreciated until you experience them yourself.
If you have not yet joined the smart home revolution, installing a video doorbell is a good place to start. Video doorbells tend to be easy to use and super functional. Just be sure to look for the five features discussed in this post. They will maximize both your enjoyment and satisfaction with the video doorbell concept.