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Residential video doorphone goes IP and wireless

Residential video doorphone goes IP and wireless

The video doorphone, also called the video intercom, is evolved into a multifunctional device in conjunction with network capability and home automation. Video doorphones for smart home are integrated with security, intercommunication and home automation features. With enhanced importance beyond entry management, it is moving from home entryways to the home center.

Integration of security, communication and automation
The video doorphones in the smart home combine intercommunication, access control, alarming and home automation into a single platform. No doubt, users are benefited to have easier and more manageable home security. We conclude four major trends, including wireless connectivity, digitalization, trendy outlook, and integration with home automation.

The video door phone system for the smart home, generally comprises control monitors, and door stations with built-in megapixel cameras. There are models called peephole door viewers supporting wireless connectivity with mobile devices like mobile phones or tablets instead of indoor stations. Popular features consist of remote intercommunication, access control and monitoring. With increasing demand of connected home, home owners want their video door phone systems to be smarter. Therefore, we can see more and more models supporting alarming and home automation features over the next few years.

Easier and more manageable home security
The video doorphones pair up wireless or fixed monitors and built-in or external security cameras for remote control and monitoring. The system connects visitors to the user's smartphones or tablets, used as the mobile control center, when the user is not at home. Users can view and allow access of visitors remotely with mobile phones. Aside from unlocking doors remotely, some of them are accompanied with alarming function like PIR detector and event alerts for enhanced home security. They support motion-activated recording and image capture of approaching visitors in a SD card or built-in DVR. The built-in camera can automatically take photo and record video when motion is detected via the built-in PIR sensor. Like most surveillance cameras, some video door phones with built-in cameras support nighttime and pan-tilt operations. To offer wider viewing angles, fish-eye lens can be integrated at times.

There are another solutions offering extended home security by connection with the door camera, smart door lock and magnetic door sensor. In addition, some complicated systems incorporate security sensors to detect fire, gas leakage and burglar intrusion with alarm notification to the management center.

To cater for smart home users, ease of use is more appealing apart from affordable pricing and trendy outlook. The intuitive interface of control monitor offers easy operation on intercommunication, photo viewing, alarm setup, and home control. Also, easy installation is attractive for the DIY market.

TC P/IP favored over wireless connection
The smart intercoms for home use feature Internet connection. Current offerings consist of wired and wireless solutions. Products provided by Asian suppliers are mostly wired solutions. For home users, the wireless solution, free from wiring problems, is considered to be more appealing in terms of easy installation and interoperability with mobile devices. The wireless indoor units typically come with LCD displays, and some of them are portable models used as mobile phones.

RF2.4GHz and Wi-Fi are two major adoptions for wireless connectivity with mobile control monitors. Wi-Fi connectivity is getting popular due to its high compatibility with smartphones for consumers; however, it has unstable signal transmission when traveling the wall. Regarding RF2.4GHz compliant devices, they support intelligent frequency hopping from 2.4GHz to 2.4835GHz to change RF channel automatically in order to avoid interference from other 2.4GHz devices like WLAN router, microwave and cordless phone.

Regarding the wired solution for smart home applications, digital TCP/IP models are major promotions though wireless models could be more attractive for those who prefer DIY systems. For more stable solutions, the systems that adopt internet TCP/IP technology to void complicated wiring installation are highly promoted by suppliers. The digital intercom system is easy to install, manage and upgrade than traditional analog models. Supporting SIP protocol, the video doorphones allow free communication between SIP and mobile phones. It is a cost-saving solution to offer video communication.

Home automation gaining interest
Though integration o f home automation still belongs to the high-end market, we can see more and more new products integrate with simple home control features, such as control over lighting, shading, HVAC, TV, elevator and home appliance controls. The common communication protocols adopted consist of RF433, RS485, ZigBee, Z-Wave, KNX and Wi-Fi. In China, RF433 is a popular and cost-saving adoption for home automation and for connections with alarm sensors.

When it comes to home use, visually appealing becomes a nice-to-have feature. The sleek design and thin form factors are stressed. We can see those trendy products with metal-casing and slim form factor measuring less than 15mm.

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