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 www.maximuslighting.com 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.
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