Rights & Money

Now Even Your Doorbell Can Be Smart

Smart doorbells let you see who’s at the door—even when you’re not home


By Katrina Caruso


When Amazon spends a reported $1 billion to buy a startup, which it recently did, that startup has something important. Ring makes smart doorbells—audio and video camera-equipped doorbells that can send an alert to your phone, show you who’s at the door, and let you speak with the visitor—or intruder. Should you have a door equipped with Amazon Key and choose to do so, you can then remotely unlock the door.

In December 2017, Amazon bought Blink, which also makes smart doorbells. The Blink doorbell will be completely wireless, be simple to install, and run on two AA batteries for about two years. Blink will also include a speaker/microphone combo and a motion detector, and also boasts a night-vision feature.

And then there’s Hello, by Nest—a Google company. Hello includes a microphone and speaker, and can also have a pre-recorded option, as well. There’s also a “nap mode,” which turns off the doorbell when homeowners are sleeping (good news for new parents and others who need their nap time) but will still send alerts to their phones. No prices have been released yet, but plans to launch the doorbell are slated for early this year.

These smart doorbells are off-shoots of home-security technology.

With Amazon, Google, and Apple jumping on the smart home market, it’s always fun to keep an eye on what they think of—and buy—next.