This doorbell sends video, audio to your phone

Posted at 7:34 PM, Dec 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-18 11:43:44-05

By the time you ring the doorbell at Walter Bleser's home in Denver's Highlands neighborhood, he already knows who you are.

"I saw you guys pull up today because your truck was large enough that it set off my motion sensor, and so I knew you were here before you were here," said Bleser.

After thieves stole $600 in packages from his home last year, he decided to try something new -- a $200, WiFi Ring doorbell that allows him to see people who approach his home and speak to them through his smartphone, no matter where he is.
"I was recently in New York City on Halloween, so as you can imagine we had a lot of trick-or-treaters," he said with a smile. "And I told them, 'Sorry, no candy here,' from midtown New York."
He can also tell his UPS delivery man to leave a package at the door or tell solicitors that he can't come to the door.
In videos from the company, package thieves and would-be burglars are caught on camera and the company claims several arrests have been made as a result.  
Crooks don't even have to ring the doorbell; it has motion detectors that send alerts as well.
Whether it's protecting themselves from package thieves or burglars, people have shown an increasing interest in this type of technology. In the last six months alone, the company said it has seen a 600 percent increase in recorded videos.
But it seems there are a few bugs. When Bleser tried to speak to Denver7 reporter Jaclyn Allen after she rang the doorbell, the video worked, but the audio didn't, possibly because of a WiFi issue.
"We have to assume that there are times that there are going to be blackouts, that there are times our devices are going to become inaccessible," MSU Denver Computer Science Professor Steve Beaty said, adding that these kind of devices also present concerns for potential hacking. "Still, this is a disruptive technology that could change how we think about home security in some good ways." 
The videos can be stored on the cloud for $3/month or $30/year, and the company plans to offer video on demand starting next year.
And while it doesn't always work perfectly, Bleser said it is yet another way to deter criminals and make his family safer.
"I know we originally bought it just for this package issue," said Bleser. "But, frankly, it’s been good for peace of mind just as to who is at your front door."


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