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Smart Home

Yale's new doorbell lets you see who's at the door

Yale's new doorbell works like a connected peephole to let you see who's at your front door no matter where you are.

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Video doorbells have gotten a lot of attention over the past year. Now Yale, best known for its locks and deadbolt, wants in on the action.

Its product is called Yale Look, and it's a $170 video doorbell that you'll mount directly onto your front door. When someone walks up, a built-in motion detector will see them and start broadcasting the video feed to a touchscreen on the inside of your door. When they ring the chime, you'll get a notification on your phone, along with the ability to view the feed or engage in two-way audio.

A dedicated video monitor sits on the inside of your door. You can also view the video feed on your smart phone when someone's at the door.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

That's not too much different than what you'll get with similar smart home doorbells from names like Skybell, August, and Ring, but Look sets itself apart with the addition of that dedicated video monitor on the inside of the door. It seems handy for people who don't want their smart homes to tie them to their phone, but it looks a bit clunky, and also requires you to drill through the door to stay connected to the exterior camera. Good luck selling your spouse on that -- let alone your landlord.

The video monitor includes a rechargeable battery that promises to last anywhere from six months to a year depending on usage. When it runs low, you can pop it off of the mount and recharge it via USB. It also comes with an 8GB SD card to store motion-activated video clips.

Yale tells us that the Wi-Fi version of Look will arrive at retail in October, with a second $240 version due out by the end of the year that'll add in a Z-Wave radio to let it sync up with larger smart home control platforms like SmartThings or Control4. We'll keep an eye out for both.

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