DoorBot Selected as One of Wired’s 10 Best Gadgets of CES 2014

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Doorbot-InstalledIt seems that the Wired Gadget Lab has selected DoorBot as one of it’s 10 Best Gadgets of CES. That’s certainly nice for Edison Jr.

As someone who has pounded the pavement at similarly vast trade shows, I certainly know how difficult it can be to ensure that you see everything that might be interesting. Moreover, it’s extremely difficult to get a real sense of a new product. Is what you’re seeing real? Or is it a presentation staged for the show? Will it work as promised when you get it back home? These are big questions, not easily answered.

Our DoorBot was delivered early in December. It was reported as part of lot 1c, the early backers. Despite some misgivings about it’s initial behavior I installed the device back on January 1st. It’s installed the fence along side our front gate.

We’re committed to using it for a period of a few weeks. It’s a new product from a startup, so we want to give it a fair shake. During that time we are engaging the company with feedback about it’s behavior.

It’s our hope that we can wait out the next software update, which was promised near the end of this month.

  • Schlauf

    Wow – That’s hard to believe. I received my Doorbot in December and could not get it to connect to my network. The website has no forums, just a simple FAQ and you have to email support and they will call you back. (Yes call you back) I finally received a call after 10 days and they could not get it to connect to my network. Over the Christmas break, I decided to try again and somehow playing around with it I got the Doorbot to connect. Then I tried to ring the Doorbot and using the app on my iphone 5s watch the call. Nope – would not work – heard a voice, no picture. Then no voice no picture and it eventually hung my phone and the Doorbot. I emailed support and 10 days later got an email response asking me to document my internet speeds. (I’m on Comcast Business). My Doorbot is pretty much a brick – I’m now waiting for my Skybell to arrive and see if it will work any better. It’s such a simple idea, not sure why it’s so hard to execute. Been a reader of your blog for years and really enjoy your posts! But I had to post a comment as I’m so disappointed in the Doorbot product and support. I’ve been involved in many Kickstarter campaigns and even if the product did not work I felt the people in the company were trying hard and communicating to solve the problems. The Doorbot team seems overwhelmed and not able to execute or communicate.

    • mjgraves

      I completely understand. Our early experience has been disappointing as well. However, I feel that the concept is good, so there’s merit in helping them overcome some of their issues.

      I was, i think, the first person to post to the Zendesk account that they established to enhance the support effort. I’ve spoken to them a couple of times and had several email exchanges. At each turn, rather than express outrage at their efforts to date, I’ve tried to provide supportive information to help them move forward.

      That said, I have a SIP door phone from Algo Solutions waiting in the wings. It will replace the DoorBot should I decide to return that device.

      In any case I will be doing a full review of both devices, which should prove interesting to many readers like yourself.

      • schlauf

        An update – As I posted back in January, I’ve tried to get the Doorbot to work and spoke several times with Doorbot support, but have not made any progress.

        I finally got around to trying the Skybell (now that the snow has melted from the front of my house). 15 minutes of work and the Skybell connects and actually works! Imagine my surprise. My only issue is the sound on my iOS app is pretty noisy. Could be wind related, so I need to try it on a different days with different wind conditions. But so far so go. I would have no issue recommending the Skybell. The Doorbot now resides in my failed gadget pile.

  • Jeff D

    Wow! I was at CES too and the Skybell is hands down a much superior product. For the technology minded, be sure to do your homework and read the reviews. There is something to be said of a product made in the USA (Skybell) and products made by small out-of-the-garage companies who have their products made in China (Doorbot).

    • mjgraves

      To be fair, where it’s made doesn’t necessarily infer anything about the quality of a product. That’s a common generalization that’s much too easy to make.

      It’s in the nature of a start-up effort that that reviews are few and not very detailed, at least until the product starts to ship. In the case of DoorBot that was just five weeks ago.

      IMHO, this has little to do with the product. It’s all about the company. How do they have the issues they face? How thoughtful were they in advance of shipping, which leads to a more complete product upon initial delivery. How well do they communicate with customers vs prospects?

  • allantaximan

    My doorbot has still failed to impress. The Unit and the Support. Calls dont always make it to my iphone in the first place. Delays of 20 seconds for notifications, 5 seconds for the app to connect, very poor video and audio. Its taken months to get support and firmware updates which have proved less than adequate. The doorbot has been removed from the door as rather than enhancing my home’s security it has become a non working threat. It is a great shame because as a backer I wanted the product to do well. Anyone had success with skybell?