DoorBot is essentially a standalone doorbell unit that also contains a camera, microphone and speaker encased in a single unit. It works with an app that you download onto your smartphone or tablet to allow you to see and communicate with anyone who rings the doorbell on DoorBot. The product website claims that even if you are thousands of miles away from your home, you can still communicate with the person on your doorstep, as DoorBot works through your home’s wifi network. It essentially turns your doorbell into a mini video-intercom system that works regardless of where you are.
Invented by James Siminoff, who has started and sold several tech companies already, DoorBot has been featured on the ABC TV show Shark Tank, attracting the attention of investors on the show. On the DoorBot website, Siminoff says he invented the device after he missed an important package delivery because he could not hear the doorbell in his workspace. A KickStarter campaign and TV appearance later and the DoorBot company, based in Santa Monica, CA, was created to manufacture and sell the product.
How DoorBot Works
DoorBot is a standalone doorbell with a camera, microphone and speaker that streams video over your wireless internet connection. When somebody comes to your door and presses the doorbell, it activates the camera and alerts you on your smartphone or tablet. You then log into the DoorBot app on your Android or Apple device and it shows you what the camera is seeing and allows you to communicate with the person. DoorBot is capable of alerting multiple devices at once and you can also have multiple DoorBots connected to the same device.
The DoorBot is a single unit device measuring 2.3 inches wide and 5.68 inches tall consisting of a perforated aluminum faceplate mounted on a frame of injection molded high density polymer. It’s easy to mount and comes with its own level and mounting screws, plus a proprietary mounting screw to prevent theft. (If your DoorBot is stolen, it will also be replaced free of charge by the company.) The camera, housed inside a plastic bubble, is also moveable, meaning you can position it to point any direction you want.
As for powering it, you can either hook it up to your home’s electrical system through the wires that ran your old doorbell, or use the rechargeable battery that comes with it, which is good for over 12 months of regular use.
DoorBot Pricing, Shipping & Return Policies
DoorBot sells for $199 per unit and has free shipping within the United States. (International shipping is $20 and will bring the total up to $219.)
It does not come with a money back guarantee, but, as previously mentioned, it will be replaced free of charge if it is stolen.
You can call 1-800-656-1918 if you have questions. The website also has an extensive list of FAQs.
The promotional video touts DoorBot as being perfect for second homes and vacation properties, as it lets you see who is at the doorstep even when you’re not there. It’s also compatible with Lockitron, another device the company sells. Lockitron can remotely unlock your door at the touch of a button, similar to Kevo. (Lockitron is not included if you order DoorBot.) DoorBot also reportedly records video of visitors who ring the doorbell so if you do happen to miss speaking with someone, you can view the video and see who it was. (This costs extra, however.)
There don’t seem to be any consumer reviews for the product online yet, but review websites tend to give it positive reviews, noting that it especially seems to make sense when paired with a remote door lock device like the Lockitron. One review site said the video and audio tends to lag in an environment where there is a lot of devices depending on the wifi, but that likely wouldn’t happen in a simple home.
The idea behind DoorBot is solid and if it works the way it is supposed to, it seems like it would be highly useful, particularly to those who have a second home to keep an eye on.