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Coming Soon: Rock ‘em Sock ‘em DoorBots!

DoorBot-ALGO-8028You may recall that I was eagerly awaiting the arrival our DoorBot, the Wifi-enabled, video capable doorbell that calls a smart phone app when the button is pushed. Well, our DoorBot arrived early in December. Since then I’ve been pondering if, and exactly how, to share my initial experience with the device.

To be blunt, our early experience with DoorBot has been disappointing. It doesn’t meet our needs for a couple of reasons. The software is still a little rough. To be fair the company is reported to be working on the issues reported by early users. However, they’re not doing the greatest job of reporting their progress.

All of this has me thinking back to when I first considered putting the DoorBell Fone at our gate, and the alternatives that were available at the time. The most attractive option was ALGO Solutions model 8028 SIP Door Phone. However, at $500 it was just beyond my budget at the time.

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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.

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Holiday Gift Idea III: The Nest Thermostat

nest-thermostat-300Some months ago I was doing some work around the house at the request of my wife. I can’t remember what exactly, but it involved some woodworking. The process was not going as well as I might have hoped and I was getting tired.

Somehow I managed to mash my hand, which aside from being painful brought the effort to a premature end for the day. My wife decided that we need to make a trip to our local Lowe’s anyway, and that I should take a break come along for the ride.

While at the store we stumbled upon a display for the Nest Learning Thermostat. A few days before I had mentioned to Stella that it was being rolled out nationally. I also told her a bit of the story about the company, its founder and their legal entanglement with Honeywell.

Upon seeing the device offered in the store, and with feelings of guilt stemming from my damaged digits, she bought the Nest as a thank you for undertaking her honey-do list.

The story of Nest is very appealing to her sensibilities. A small start-up shaking up a stodgy business, complete David v Goliath legal cases. Who isn’t drawn to an underdog? Especially when the product bears all the hallmarks of design by Apple .

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