This post has not yet been reviewed by my stalwart and trusted proofreader. Humorous typo’s and various grammatical anomalies could be lurking therein.
So, how do you answer the door bell if you have limited hand/arm functionality? Never mind opening the door, how can you tell who’s ringing the bell or actually have a chat with them before you open the door? A lower mounted fish-eye viewer might work…if you could lean forward to look thru it. But your voice isn’t strong enough to shout through the door and how would you open it anyway?
How about a system that lets you see a large clear image of the person at the door (before you open it) and have a two way conversation with that person…before you open the door? Suppose you could have this video/audio chat from most anywhere in the house, even your bed if you have transferred for the night?
If you look at the previous post, AzTAP: Smart Home Presentation and Demonstration you will see a block diagram of a small Smart Home system and the picture of a small wireless camera. This camera communicates via the in-house WiFi network and the video and audio is accessible to any laptop or desktop and many tablet computers and smart cell phones.
Using an application on your computer you can see the live video feed coming from the camera i.e. the person at the front door…if the camera were mounted outside, facing the front door. Using your computer’s microphone and speakers you can have a voice conversation with same individual using the camera’s built-in microphone and a pair of cheap powered speakers mounted next to the camera.
OK, in the demonstration video below, you are working on your laptop when the door bell rings, notice that our “simulated consumer” switches from her word document to the program managing the video feed from the camera. She selects the “talk” button and initiates a two way conversation with our “simulated FedEx” delivery person.
In a more complete Smart Home design the consumer would have a third window on her laptop or a voice command system that would allow her to remotely open the door as well.
see video -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pw46gTOYlI
This demo utilizes a laptop as the “user interface” however I’m betting today’s smart phones could be configured to function in this role as well. Once again Smart Home technology offers the potential for more choices, more control…more Independent Living.
Is this a simple solution, installable by your average ECU salesperson…no! Does it solve the problem…yes! Oh yeah, that’s right “There’s a simple solution to every complex problem and it usually doesn’t work. A truly elegant solution solves the problem but hides the complexity.” In this demo our consumer has two buttons to press…talk and listen.