One of the recurring themes that pops up when I speak with clients is a nagging concern about personal safety and security.
People with disbailities - especially those who live alone, or are alone for period of time - often tell me that the simple act of answering the door can be stressful and provoke anxiety. And while we live in in the "lucky country" where crime and violence are very low compared to many other countries, the fact remains.
There are still those who seek to prey on some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
The designers of the NDIS were clearly aware of this fact when they included a category of support for "Low Cost Assistive Technology for Self-Care and Safety".
We talked about the benefits of Smart Locks in a post a couple of weeks ago.
Today we are going to lock at how a simple (but smart) doorbell can bring peace of mind for people living with disabilties and their loved ones and carers.
Knock, Knock, Who's There? Doorbell Installation Service.
There are many brands of smart doorbell on the market at them moment.
Virtually all of the work with Google Home and Amazon Alexa home hub platforms (Apple HomeLit/Siri has a much more limited range in Australia). And all of them come with their own apps so they can be operated independently of a home hub system.
The key features of a smart (vs traditional) doorbell is the integration of both a camera and and app to be able to see who is at the door from wherever you are.
While doorbells with cameras and intercoms have been around for ages, the limitation was always that you could only view who was at the door from a hardwired screen placed somewhere in the home. Also the video stream was often pretty dicey - especially at night.
You're In Control
With a smart home door bell, you can expect high quality two-way audio so you can talk to the person at the door, as well as high definition video (often 1080p - which is jargon for the high definition signal you get on a modern TV) delivered live to your phone or tablet (or any other internet connected device.
This give you the control to confirm who is at the door, why they are there and whether yo want them there without having to go to the door.
In many cases, the door bell can be connected to a smart lock to enable you to let visitors or support workers into your home without having to go to the door - or even be at home.
With today's smart doorbells, the video is at your fingertips - wherever you are in the world - as long as you have access to the internet.
Be At Home. Even When You're Not At Home
One thing virtually every home burglary has in common is that it starts with the burglar knocking at the door or ringing the doorbell. Common home burglaries do not happen when there is someone in the home!
One of the great things about smart doorbells is that when someone rings it - you are notified and get a live video feed of who is there - whether you are there or not.
Shifty looking character with no reason to be there? Tell them to go away or you'll call the police.
Someone door knocking for a charity or a politician or to convert you to a new religion? Tell them you're busy and/or not really interested.
Delivery person with a carton of wine? Tell them to leave it at the side of the house and you'll be out to collect it when you have a sec.
For people living with disabilities, life has added stresses that many non-disabled people don't have. As a non-disabled middle-aged man, my main concern when answering my front door is making sure my over protective beagle doesn't bite the postie.
But for people who are living with disabilities - a smart doorbell can be the difference between anxiety and serenity.
And I think that's important.
Thanks for listening!