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back to article Yes! It's the NFC phone-bonk doorbell app AT LAST

Home owners too lazy to answer the doorbell can relax as the latest innovation from Doorbl puts visitors in touch via a smartphone tapped to the door. The app, available for Android and iOS, links a Near Field Communication tag to a cloud service which lets one know when a visitor is on the doorstep. This assumes the visitor has …

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Bronze badge

Might even work

Can it be linked with one of the many fart apps for giving a clear signal to unwanted visitors?

Oh wait - those will probably not register their details in the cloud service.

"Police! Open the door!" - "First sign in to our doorbell app, -pffff"

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Silver badge
Happy

But for modern smartphones only, natch.

Nothing NFC is applicable to quaint tiny-screened models whos design has hardly changed for 5 years, no matter how round their corners, since "they don't need that".

Until it's added that is, then its "their innovation" and they'll see you in a court they bought.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But for modern smartphones only, natch.

* WHOSE

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Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: But for modern smartphones only, natch.

* WHOSE

Cheers. These small details may appear unimportant, but nanny must constantly point them out lest the reader not understand the full meaning of the sentence. And we all know how much happier some smartphone users are when being nannied.

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Silver badge
Pint

Congrats

"Quaint tiny-screened models whose design has hardly changed for 5 years" is definitely a new and innovative way to describe iThings. It actually took me a while to understand.

...You should patent it!

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Silver badge

(stop laughing at the back)

I'm not laughing, I'm crying.

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Silver badge
Childcatcher

We have arrived at the stage

where we require instructions on a toothpick.

Is there one single solitary instance of a use case where this is superior to a push-button?

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jai
Silver badge

Re: We have arrived at the stage

acutally, i've just thought of a use case.

our dog goes mental when the doorbell rings, barking loudly, scratching like mad at the lounge door

so some system that would put a message on the phones of the people inside instead of the loud ringing bell would be perfect. we could get up and get the pizza without the mutt being any the wiser.

however, i doubt there's anyway the pizza delivery person would be bothered with all of this, so i'd have to say that this implementation of a solution to my problem is flawed

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Re: We have arrived at the stage

Or you could swap the bell for something that doesn't wind the dog up?

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Anonymous Coward

I have to laugh...

...as this story is posted by the man who used to have a bluetooth doorbell that could fire off a house wide PC sourced sound effect.

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Anonymous Coward

his girlfriend couldn't get to the door in time and wanted to send visitors a "please wait" message

hmm ... perhaps a message along the lines of "I can't come to the door at the moment as I'm busy and don't seem to have any clothes on ... if you would like to see what I'm doing for only £1.99/minute press the button now"

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Anonymous Coward

"his girlfriend"

Yeah, right.

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Trollface

I have to laugh...

...as this story is posted by the man who used to have a bluetooth doorbell that could fire off a house wide PC sourced sound effect.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: I have to laugh...

Oddly enough it used a proprietary protocol as it pre-dated Bluetooth (actually it was just a wireless doorbell with the buzzer replaced with a relay, polled from a PC), but I'd argue it was still more practical than this one.

Bill.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I have to laugh...

My house has several wireless "bell" receivers plugged into house-wide mains sockets - or with batteries for the garden. A proprietary transmitter "converter" unit was activated by the existing bell circuit. The expensive converter died after a few years. So a reed relay circuit off the wired AC was constructed to power a cheaper wireless bell push.

An unexpectedly needed refinement was a day-glo postcard notice to hang on the outside of the front door when deliveries are expected. Even then some couriers still merely tap on the glass rather than pressing the blue-led illuminated button.

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Silver badge

So... you give a list of all the people who visited you to a cloud service?

...just so they can ring a bell?

Apart from the obvious question why you even wanted to ring with your smartphone, wouldn't it be much more simpler to just have a QR-code with a picture... so you can direct the ringer to an URL which will make it ring?

Something like:

scanning QR-code on door => starting CGI-script on your webserver => sending off IM messages and playing "ding dong" on your server

This seems much simpler than trying to get it to work with people who visit you. It doesn't need apps, and you can even buy hardware buttons which make an HTTP request if you still fancy a normal doorbell.

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Silver badge

from the inventor of.....

.....the internet-connected, bluetooth-activated......................catflap.

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You can ring my bell

Wireless door bells start at under a tenner on Amazon. Door intercoms start at 25 quid. No smartphones or associated data services needed.

If the blokes delivering parcels don't have the requisite smartphones and data connections, users of the app described in the article will probably spend a lot of time in queues at post offices. Still, they'll have smartphone with which to amuse themselves while they wait for their stuff.

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jai
Silver badge

Can't someone make the reverse?

I was going to ask why there isn't the opposite, where my phone could unlock the front door for me to let myself in when my hands are full of shopping or junk food or big boxed tech or all three. but then I JFGI'd and discovered there already is - the Lockitron, which was a kickstarter and has yet to ship.

so nothing to see here, move along, thanking you kindly...

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jai
Silver badge

Re: Can't someone make the reverse?

actually, scratch that, this is the solution i wanted (although, again, it's on the way, not here yet. we've only had smartphones for HOW many years?)

http://www.kwikset.com/Kevo/Default.aspx

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FAIL

Re: Can't someone make the reverse?

Oh dear, I can't get in to my house because the wifi is down.

Fantastic idea.

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Re: Can't someone make the reverse?

Right. So you can give a temporary key to a babysitter or dog-walker... so long as they have a reasonably recent iPhone. If they supported Android it might get enough relevance to be useful.

Touch-the-lock and bluetooth seems a little insecure to me, but I think they are aware of the issues and have taken steps to mitigate them. RFID would be better, but the market relevance would be even lower.

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Anonymous Coward

Use Case?

My friends all know my phone # and can call me, so this doesn't help there.

Door-to-door types won't do this; they will ring the bell. Even if they DID do this, why would I want them to?

So who does this leave?

Food delivery types? - again, they will just push the button.

Parcel delivery types? - they don't even push the button half the time; they just drop the package and run (that even happened when the delivery guy was dropping off the cartridge for my dying mother's morphine drip - no signature, drop the package full of a Schedule 1 narcotic, knock twice, and run.)

Law enforcement? Either they will just push the button or they will bash down the door.

Who, exactly, is this for?

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Silver badge

Re: Use Case?

I agree 100%, and I also take offense to the "too impolite or lazy to bother coming to the door" remark. We answer the door when we're expecting someone. Life's too short to deal with door-to-door salesmen and telephone solicitors.

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Devil

Re: Use Case?

Total agreement. I have a non-working bell on my door. Anyone who turns up uninvited can ring it till their brain implodes. Invited friends know that they should just call me when they're local, to give me time to finish being tekky and put the kettle on.

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Silver badge
WTF?

Not seeing the point

I'm not seeing the point but then again, I didn't for the pet rock either.

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Bronze badge

Just back from the patent office

My device is a simple miniature seesaw placed near the window. When the smartphoners bonk, one places the key on the downhill, inside arm, opens the window, and slams down one's telephone handset (you still have one, right?) on the uphill, outside arm. The force of the blow flips the key out the window, and with luck into the hands of the visitor.

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Anonymous Coward

Updated children's games

"Visitors can instead scan a QR Code sticker affixed to the frame (stop laughing at the back),"

In the old days it was a street amusement to tie a piece of cotton between two adjacent houses front door knockers - with a calculated amount of slack. A knock on one door then initiated a self-perpetuating effect as the neighbours alternately kept opening their doors to see who was knocking.

Swapping QR codes round would be an interesting variant - or, for instant gratification, taking a picture of it for use from hiding. Spam/malware would be an obvious substitute QR code.

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