The first electric doorbell sprang to life in 1831, comprised of a bell that could be rung at a distance using an electric wire. Nearly 200 years later, two U.K. entrepreneurs think they have come up with a suitable update, which they launched on Kickstarter on Tuesday.
Called the Ding Smart Doorbell, it boasts an outdoor doorbell button, indoor portable chime, and connected smartphone app. When a visitor presses the outdoor button — which is slim enough to fit most door frames, with a straightforward click-in installation — the indoor chime will sound, while also placing a voice call through the Ding smartphone app.
“Most doorbells haven’t really changed over the years,” John Nussey, co-founder and CEO of Ding, told Digital Trends. “We didn’t want to overcomplicate things, but we went back to the original concept of a doorbell and looked at what we could add to give you quick, effective communication.”
Deciding how to reinvent the doorbell by incorporating 21st century tech was more of a challenge than one might think.
“We thought about having a video doorbell, but for the purpose of getting a quick message across we didn’t think it was necessary,” Nussey said. “You don’t FaceTime someone on your phone if you have a quick message to give them, you call or text instead. If a [mailman] is going to be at your door for 30 seconds, you want to communicate with them as quickly and effectively as you can. This isn’t meant to be a home security system.”
The same, he said, is true of deciding to call users when their doorbell is rung, rather than using automated messages. “People don’t necessarily respond to a Siri-style voice in quite the same way,” he continued. “That human side to the interaction is important; a recorded message read in a synthetic voice wouldn’t have been so good.”
If you have ever been in the situation of missing an important delivery because you are in the garden, in another room, or even at work, you will not need convincing that Ding is an interesting idea.
If you want to get involved, check the Kickstarter link at the top of this page. Provided that the campaign hits its funding target, pricing for an individual Ding doorbell starts at $99. Shipping should take place in August 2017 — provided there is someone at home to sign for the package, that is.