You know the drill. Someone rings your doorbell when you aren't expecting it and you immediately enter stealth mode -- tiptoeing around to catch a glimpse of the person through a nearby window without them noticing you.
If it's a solicitor, you'll want to ignore it. But if it's a delivery person bringing that cute sweater you ordered from Asos a day earlier than anticipated, you'll want to answer. What to do, what to do...
A handful of enterprising startups are already working to solve this universal dilemma with the smart doorbell. A Wi-Fi-enabled gizmo you swap in where your old buzzer used to be, smart doorbells give you more ways to "screen" your front door without actually opening it.
The Ding Smart Doorbell, pre-orderable on Kickstarter beginning today for a minimum campaign contribution of $119/£92 -- roughly AU$155 at the current exchange rate -- is simply the latest iteration of this connected doorbell trend.
Here's how the whole Wi-Fi doorbell thing has worked with all of the previous models I've tested:
Assuming the internet connection at your home and on your phone is solid, you should be able to do this whether you're snuggling on your couch 15 feet from your front door or on vacation a thousand miles away.
Ding is slightly different in that it doesn't come with a camera at all. Instead, when someone rings your front door, you'll get an alert and have the option to talk to the person from your phone via the related Android or iPhone app. This isn't quite as exciting as being able to spy on your guests without peering through a peephole, but it still gives you the flexibility to ask that delivery person to leave your sweater under the doormat.
I didn't find any mention of integrations with products from other manufacturers through IFTTT or another smart-home platform. Both Ring and SkyBell HD smart doorbells work with IFTTT, so that's a little disappointing.
You do have the option of either hardwiring the Ding Smart Doorbell or using battery power (Ding doesn't specify if it's a rechargeable or a replacement battery). Your purchase also comes with an accompanying door chime, appropriately dubbed Chime. Mount it on the wall in your house or set it on a flat surface and Chime will act as a supplemental doorbell alarm.
Ding's Kickstarter campaign began today, so there's plenty of time to buy in. The funding goal is $50,000, units can ship anywhere in the world, and they are expect to reach backers in August 2017.