Skip to main content

Maximus is at the door with its new Answer DualCam Video Doorbell

Remember that whole pre-recorded doorbell scheme in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? That kid could have gone to town with today’s smart home technology. The latest and greatest advancement was launched today by San Francisco-based Maximus, which announced the availability of the Answer DualCam Video Doorbell, a device the company claims is the smart home industry’s first doorbell with two cameras to provide maximum coverage.

The Answer is on par with other video doorbells with a retail price of about $200 but it has a lot of bells and whistles for the cost. The camera has a 180-degree field of view and a range of 30 feet that includes white LED night vision with six high-power infrared LEDs.

The trick with the dual cameras is that they let smart home owners see everything that happens on the doorstep. The top cam is a 1080p high-definition camera to let homeowners see people’s faces and everything at the door. But Maximum has augmented what might have been a fairly standard video doorbell with a second 720p bottom camera that completely obliterates blind spots that any smart porch pirate knows how to take advantage of.

“When we announced Answer earlier this year, we were met with an overwhelmingly positive response,” said Mark Honeycutt, CEO of Maximus in a release. “On numerous occasions, we heard the same complaint surrounding traditional smart doorbells: they weren’t capturing everything at the front door, including people and packages, so it completely eliminated their purpose if something was stolen or damaged. Answer addresses these concerns and provides an affordable, easy-to-use solution that gives homeowners the best field-of-view yet.”

It’s a nifty combination of technologies from a bunch of different sources. The doorbell itself is powered by Ambarella’s high-resolution quad-core S5L-4K chip, so the four cores enable the Answer Doorbell to perform more sophisticated A.I.-enabled tasks.

The software, meanwhile, is provided by partner company Kuna, which also provides the app that users need to see and speak to visitors, receive push notifications, sound an alarm, or even dial 911 in the event of an emergency.

Naturally, the gizmo also allows homeowners to talk to whoever is at the door, whether they’re home or not. It has a front-facing music quality speaker that can play messages.

The speaker can also play sounds, customizable greetings, and enable two-way communications with visitors, complete with echo cancellation. Maximus has also kept up with the competition in terms of recording features. Answer automatically records a one-minute video when it detects activity and stores recordings within the first two hours on the cloud for free. The recordings, unusually, include 10 seconds of footage prior to the recorded event to ensure that owners get some context in regard to what’s actually going on.

As mentioned, the Answer DualCam Video Doorbell is available now at for $200, while the company is also offering premium paid subscription plans. After the company’s pre-order units have shipped, the Answer is also expected to be available through a variety of retail outlets including Amazon, Lowes, The Home Depot, Costco, and Sam’s Club.

Editors' Recommendations

Clayton Moore
Clayton Moore’s interest in technology is deeply rooted in the work of writers like Warren Ellis, Cory Doctorow and Neal…
How to improve Ring video doorbell battery life
The Ring Battery Doorbell Plus installed outside a front door.

Most battery-powered Ring video doorbells will last between six to 12 months, with a wide degree of variability depending on your climate, usage, and specific model. If you find your video doorbell falling below that range (or want to optimize its performance), there are several steps you can take to improve your Ring video doorbell's battery life.

From changing your motion settings to adjusting your Wi-Fi settings, here’s how to get a bit more juice out of your battery-powered Ring video doorbell.
Update your motion settings

Read more
Ring Alarm, video doorbells will soon lock free features behind a paywall
Ring Video Doorbell installed next to a white entry door.

Ring is making a few changes to its Ring Protect subscription plans. Later this month, membership will be required for select features that were previously free. Specifically, new customers who pick up a Ring Alarm will need to sign up for the premium service to Arm or Disarm their device from the Ring app and receive digital notifications.

Ring Alarm isn’t the only product seeing changes, as Ring doorbells and cameras will also need a subscription to set them into Home or Away mode. The same goes for customizing settings to enable Live View with each of the above modes. Changes to the Ring Protect plans will take place on March 29, although they won't impact all users.

Read more
The new Nest Doorbell has an hour of onboard video storage
Someone presses the Nest Video Doorbell in front of their home.

In the past, the Nest Doorbell has been a popular option thanks to its versatility and clear image quality, but the battery was always a consideration. The latest iteration of the video doorbell does away with the battery in favor of a hardwired connection, ensuring you never have to worry about the battery running out of juice. It also has another nifty feature: an hour of onboard video storage backup. This means that if your Wi-Fi drops, you'll still be able to see anything that happens (for an hour, anyway), and the footage will automatically be uploaded to your cloud storage as soon as the connection resumes.

Like other Nest products, you'll only get three hours of event video history on the free tier. To get 30 days of footage, you'll need to upgrade to Nest Aware at $6 per month or $60 per year.

Read more