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Smartphone-only doorbell for enhanced privacy and simplicity

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jnikola Jul 26, 2022
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A system that fully replaces a classical way of doorbell ringing with an easy-to-use smartphone app only, without the need for additional equipment.
  • Some people living in large building blocks don't like the fact that their last name is clearly stated and seen by any passenger (especially if they are public figures) -lack of anonymity
  • Classical doorbells in residential buildings consist of a board with tenants' last names and doorbells and sometimes hundreds of in-apartment devices that allow residents to permit entry to the building - costly to implement and maintain; when broken, takes a lot of time to repair since it's paid by the building manager
  • People delivering marketing flyers and catalogues often ring random people just to get the doors opened - irritating
  • In the age of fast developing technology, we need more flexible and easy-upgradeable smart solutions like this
How would it work?
Compared to the existing solutions (like these, these or these), this one would consist only of a smartphone app installed on both phones - the one ringing on the door and the one answering (and no physical camera or a door bell).
When a person comes to the door, it opens an app and scans the QR code of the house (or a house number with discrete QR code). The code is connected to the "receiver's" phone which immediately starts to ring. A person that rang a bell gets his microphone and camera automatically turned on. A person answering has multiple options: to answer, hear and see the front-facing camera of the ringer or to decline. If a person answers, the video chat starts and a person can ask the ringer anything. It can also unlock the door. If it declines, a person ringing gets an option to leave a message.
If you live in a residential building with lots of apartments, a person would scan the QR code and get a search bar. It would write your last name and click search. If there lives somebody with that last name, it would show up on the list. The procedure would be the same from then on.
  • No last names displayed on the doorbell boards
  • Easy finding of the desired last name
  • Reduced random doorbell ringing
  • Cheap and upgradeable system that uses existing technology (smartphones)
How to make it available when there is no internet? Bluetooth?
Creative contributions

I'd like more security

Florin Buda
Florin Buda Jul 26, 2022
Firstly, the QR code must contain an unique ID that identifies the owner into a database.
The DB will have multiple access levels: the pizza guy will scan it and see: Florin or even DarkLordXXX69 if i choose so. The postman will see Florin Buda, and the police will scan the QR code and see all the needed details in their own database.
Then, it will be nice if the QR code (although it could be a 2d barcode) is displayed on a eInk screen or even a liquid crystal so it can be regenerated every hour or after every call because i'd hate if kids would make a picture of it and "ring my door" when I'm asleep.
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jnikola2 years ago
I love your idea of having multiple levels of the database. That should definitely be included!
Concerning the annoying kids "ringing your door" to prank you, regeneration of the code could be automatically performed by the system and would help you not get annoyed. Nice addition! However, if kids really hate you, they could take a photo every once in a while (depending on the regeneration interval) or ring your doors during nighttime by scanning the code repeatedly. I would suggest using the "sleep" function where the ringing would be ignored between 10 pm and 7 am unless some of your "emergency contacts" are ringing in the middle of the night.
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General comments

Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi2 years ago
This is a great idea. As for what to use when there is no internet, I think buildings that use this technology can have their own internal WiFi that visitors can connect to.
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
Oguntola Tobi J. Nikola I think such an app might do without the internet. It simply needs to ring the specific number connected to the bar code, I think a simple function like this could be performed through a mobile connection.
Similar to how you can ring any number of any phone service provider, the bar code would just be another layer of connecting your sim card to another sim card (now it's dialing the number). Barcode-number connection data would be stored in the databases of phone service providers. The app would simply convert the bar code to the phone number.
Not having the internet would only increase the resident's privacy - no personal identification details could be shown, you'd only call that person and hear their voice or not. This eliminates the possibility of activating the camera, but in cases where there's no internet connection, it should be enough. If wanting visual contact, the caller and the resident could use a stationary camera installed at the door.
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jnikola2 years ago
Povilas S I agree with you. This could definitely work if you don't need a video. The most important thing is to not allow a "ringer" to see or find out what is the "receiver's" number. If that can be done by a simple barcode, that's great!
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
J. Nikola Yes, that seems feasible:)
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