Waiting For Doorbot: Appification Can Be Disappointing

Like many people, I’ve come to enjoy using a tablet to do things that were once entirely in the domain of the computer. Over the past year the Nexus 7 has become part of my routine. I use it routinely for checking email, reading news feed & e-books and watching the occasional video, amongst other things. It’s a wonderful device.

There are some things that I do with the tablet that leverage specialty apps, like the remote control for our Nest thermostat. This makes perfect sense to me as the function of both the thermostat and the app are clearly and completely defined. Also, their operation is largely isolated from the rest of the elements of our lives. For example, we simply don’t require that the Nest integrate with the home phones.

With such clearly defined requirements, or more exactly, limits to the scope of requirements, a smart phone/tablet app is good solution. It certainly makes more sense than a traditional hardware remote control as one might get with a TV.

I look forward to receiving the Doorbot that we ordered back in December. While we haven’t heard any news delivery was projected for some time in July. We genuinely need such a device and commend the Edison Junior team for taking up the challenge of its design and manufacture.

Yes, we are very excited about that device. Very excited indeed.

In essence Doorbot is a video phone. When the button is pressed it makes a point-to-point video call.

At the outset we’re told that it will contact an associated smart phone app. From some email correspondence with Jamie Siminoff, Chief Inventor at Edison Junior, I’ve learned that they have plans to eventually extend the Doorbot to support interoperability beyond just the smart phone app.

While the functionality provided by the combination of Doorbot and the smart phone app will suffice for our needs, interoperability with SIP and/or XMPP would open up a whole new realm of creative possibilities. In our case I’d love to have Doorbot ring through to our Polycom VVX series phones.

How about DoorBot calling to a Biscotti connected to our HDTV? This could be a great way to allow older guests to sit and watch our traditional Halloween extravaganza from a comfortable, quiet location inside the house. In past years I’ve put a webcam up on the front porch and left the stream on view on a computer in the house, but that was less than ideal.

Clearly, if the Doorbot supports interoperability beyond the smart phone app it will be a lot more valuable. If it’s conveniently hackable even moreso. I certainly hope that they don’t stop with just a smart phone app.