Ding-Dong: Digital Doorman Offers
Safer & Easier Remote Access

Ding-Dong: Digital Doorman Offers
Safer & Easier Remote Access

Gregory Han
Jun 27, 2013

It's a universal given: if you're waiting for an urgent delivery, the package you've diligently waited for the last 3 hours will undoubtedly only arrive once you've stepped into the shower and fully lathered yourself up into a mole-like blind state. Delivery services, care givers, craftsmen, babysitters, dog walkers, or maybe just a friend dropping by to say hello...you're not always there to give them access (or properly dressed to do so). Thus, the emergence of "digital doorman" devices and services...

Granting access into multi-unit apartments or condos with a front desk, concierge, or doorman, can be a hassle requiring scheduling for pick-up and drop off a physical key (or trusting an outside source to keep a copy) or being home to buzz someone in. And even home owners and single apartment renters often find themselves needing someone to get the door while preoccupied or away from the door.

Just think about it: we're already able to request and schedule services online. Why can't we do the same for granting scheduled and limited access using the same online and cloud services? The old intercom system and dumb doorbell both seem sorely outdated, especially when there are new digital equivalents now available without the requirement of expert rewiring or major hardware purchases. 

Here are a few ways to add a digital doorman to control who comes in and out of your home from anywhere, at any time.

The $349 KISI keyless entry system is designed to hand over doorman duties to the smartphone. Users can open the door using a remote app and can also designate specific windows of time with a temporary shared code. Those with an intercom system are offered the option to integrate the KISI system to work together, rather than replace the previous generation of multi-building access systems, making this possibly a great option for landlords and building management looking to upgrade without major reinvestment.

Last month the Yves Behar designed August Smart Lock made waves with its combination of smart remote access front door lock features and beautiful design. The lock and app combination is designed for installation inside a deadbolt in just 10 minutes, with a reasonable pre-order price set for $199. The August gives users the ability to assign time specific access windows for scheduled visitors, alongside proximity sensor equipped auto open/close locks for home owners themselves. Of course, this only works with single residence doors, not multi-story units like the KISI above.

EZTrackIt doesn't aim to solve the access issue, but instead, this software system offers a proof of delivery and notification for multi-unit residential buildings where packages normally come and go without exact logging. The system is designed for mailrooms where postal/packages, dry cleaning, flowers, or even food arrive in a commons area. Each item can be scanned using a computer or iOS or Android device, and residents are automatically notified by email their package is waiting for them downstairs. Someone still needs to do the scanning upon delivery, but the extra layer of security and notification could prove beneficial in a building with complaints of missing or stolen deliveries.

Goji Smart Lock is another app-fortified keyless entry system, with temporary digital key assignment and anywhere in the world lock/unlock options. Where the Goji stands apart is with the inclusion of a built-in digital camera inside the lock's front face, which takes a quick snapshot to push to connected mobile devices.

In instances where residents are either home or away, a quick glance from the app can provide visual verification for granting access, while also visually logging those guests as they arrive and depart. The $278 (retail; available for $235 pre-order) Goji is also designed to be DIY-friendly, so no locksmith visit is required for installation.

(Images: as linked above)

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