Our DoorBot has Been Decommissioned: Part 3

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The client apps are all independent, each one unaware of the status of the others. They all ring in parallel when the button is pressed. I wish that the client app would inform the user how many client apps are actively subscribed to each DoorBot. There may be times when others in the family are off-net or otherwise unsubscribed. There’s considerable value in knowing that yours is the only handset still receiving DoorBot status updates. After all, since it’s not a phone, there is no voice mail to fallback on.

One of the first odd behaviors I discovered with the service & the client app is that it will “ring” multiple clients, but when one client answers the remaining clients continue to ring. If you have a number of clients in you immediate vicinity this can be annoying.

The DoorBot client had another unfortunate behavior with respect to Android devices. Once it has been running it defeats the devices ability to automatically turn off the display. Thus once you answered the door your device would stay lit indefinitely, running down its battery in record time. This was the very first thing that I reported to the company, who were just in the process of putting up a ZenDesk site to track their issues.

One evening I was away from the house taking a class. As it my habit I put my cell phone on vibrate so as not to disrupt the class. Unfortunately, the DoorBot client app does not take notice of this, so when a late delivery came to the house my cell phone “rang” even though I was not at home and my phone was set to vibrate. Had I known that the DoorBot app didn’t adhere to system wide notification setting I could have disabled the subscription to the DoorBot or even stopped the app, but that should be unnecessary.

On the iPad I find it awkward answering the DoorBot . There is a visual notification of the DoorBot activity, but then I have to enter the passphrase to unlock the iPad, go into the DoorBot app and accept the incoming call. It’s a process the has more steps than my wife will tolerate.

For example, as of today the iOS version shows me a battery status where the Android version does not. This is significant since a dead DoorBot is of no use at all.

For each device there are few settings and status indications, including name, time zone and call history.

4 thoughts on “Our DoorBot has Been Decommissioned: Part 3”

  1. doorbot is junk. the use of the aWS CLOUD HURTS PERFORMANCE, THEY DO NOT RESPOND TO CUSTOMERS, the phone apps work less that 30%, video is not reliable. the cloud model doe not scale

    1. Oh, I don’t know about that. There are many examples of cloud services scaling very well. There are also many ITSPs who operate using cloud infrastructure.

      The Doorbot team don’t seem to have much depth of experience in real-time streaming media. Their solution always forces all the media to their cloud service, which is both unnecessary and likely poorly designed.

      We have SIP phones around here, including some that can do video calling at 720p30. That’s the standard to which Doorbot should be held. That’s the relative prior art in the area.

      As you note their service as a whole is simply unreliable. Their customer service model is no better conceived than the technical underpinnings of the device itself.

      Sadly, I’ve seen complaints about Skybell as well. They are another startup offering a similar device.

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