The Memory Doorbell

1 September 2008 at 11:14 | Posted in Building Security, Innovations, Intercom Systems, Memory Doorbell, Security, Security Access Systems | Leave a comment
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[Category: Innovations. If you are new to my blog please read the “About itimes3” page first]

Today I was on the phone with someone at a courier service: they claimed they had tried to deliver a package last week, but I did not think anyone ever rang my doorbell. Although it could have been while I was away, but I had no way of verifying this.

I live in an apartment, and the doorbell is a video intercom, as is common in apartments. This is nice, because I can see who is there when the doorbell rings, but it is not a very smart device, because if someone rings the doorbell when I am not there, there is no way for me to know, unless the person tells me afterwards.

In some other places I have been, the video intercom is linked with the TV set (you can tune one channel to the video intercom) and the TV will switch on when the doorbell rings and show the person standing there.

This is nice, and conceivably I could record this event, but the recording facility is not part of the manufacturer setup so I would have to rig this up myself somehow which would be time consuming, costly, difficult and interfere with using my recording device for other purposes.

So I was wondering, why does the video intercom not have a recording device built in, much like a telephone answer machine?

So that when I get home after work, the device display says something like “3 events” and then I can playback the footage from the intercom.

Obviously the quality of the recording will need to be high enoughs so that the person is recognizable even without talking to them, or ideally, the concept of the video intercom would need to be changed somewhat, in the sense that it will need to have a built in “voice sentinel” that challenges the visitors in a way that does not reveal whether the occupant is home or not.

This could be done in the following way:

  • Visitor rings doorbell downstairs at apartment bell board.
  • Voice of sentinel erupts from speaker saying something along the lines of: “Welcome to the ABC Apartments. Please state your name and the purpose of your visit”.
  • Visitor states name and purpose of visit (this has already been patched through to the apartment in realtime).
  • Sentinel waits to see if door release is activated from apartment. If nothing happens within say 30 seconds, the sentinel comes back on the speaker saying: “Sorry there was not reply from the apartment just now. Do you wish to leave a message?”
  • Visitor leaves message if desired and leaves.

With this system, if the inhabitant of the apartment is away or does not want to answer the doorbell, there will be a recording that can be played back later.

Added on 18 September: an even better system would be one that would call my cell phone when someone rings the doorbell, and would patch through the camera so I can see live from anywhere in the world who is there. Again, this is a system I could rig up myself with some effort, however it would be nice if it were installed by default in new buildings…

If you like this idea and you work in a type of industry where this is relevant, I would be happy to discuss in more detail, answer questions or assist in other ways. For details and contact information please see the “About itimes3” page.

George Spark

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All usage of this site is entirely at users risk.

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Cell Phone Dating Using Bluetooth

26 August 2008 at 17:32 | Posted in Bluetooth, Cell Phone, Cell Phone Dating, Cell Phone Security, Electronic Identification, Inventions, Mobile Phone, Mobile Phone Dating, Mobile Phone Security, Security Access Systems, Social Networking | Leave a comment
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[Category: Inventions. If you are new to my blog please read the “About itimes3” page first]

Observation one: Have you ever had your cell phone’s Bluetooth on when entering a bus or a train, and looked at the Bluetooth devices list? Every time I do this, a whole list of devices pops up on my screen: many people have Bluetooth, and they keep it on at all times.

Observation two: Dating and generally meeting people can be a difficult game. In many cultures, particularly the Western ones (as opposed to Latin and some other cultures), people can easily be lonely because they cannot seem to find the right way to approach others and fear of rejection is culturally more emphasized. In addition, many old people are lonely because they may lose their partner and then do not know how to find new friends. Other examples can easily be added.

Observation three: Almost everyone has a cell phone these days, and almost all cell phones have Bluetooth.

So: what if someone wrote an application that would compare a set of “flags” (software switches that can be set to either “yes” or “no”) in a cell phone with a set of flags in another cell phone.

If a pre-set number of flags match, the owners of both sets (or only one, depending on setup of the system by each user) would be notified.

It would work like this: When I set up the system, a large number of questions is asked and answered (for easier use, the questions could perhaps be answered online or at least on a computer, with the answers transferred to the cell phone, to avoid having to type it all on the small keypad of the phone). The questions could include (first) name, sex, age, area where living, many questions on a wide range of interests (based on drop-down menus, to ensure exact keyword matching), type of relationship wanted (friendship, one-night-stand, serious relationship, or even business relationship, etc.), plus various user-determinable settings.

The system would allow for active or passive “trawling” (for example, I could set my phone to only “listen” on Bluetooth and alert only me to a nearby “match” with my flags, or I could set the phone to also “broadcast” so the other user would also be alerted to a match happening).

Additionally, users could be flagged as “registered” (e.g. identity verified) by for example the cell phone company, which would add a layer of security for a matching user.

This system could be used as an additional layer of convenience for dating in nightclubs and bars, but also in the bus or the supermarket, for example.

Additionally, people could find potential friends with the same interest. This would also be beneficial for older people, who often are alone.

Finally, an adaptation of a system like this could be used for identification and security purposes, with a “locked” set of flags in the phone, in combination with a picture and perhaps other identifying and/or security data,¬†allowing the phone to be used as an access tool (to confirm someone’s eligibility to enter or be somewhere, for example).

NOTE (added 28 August): I just found out that apparently there are already services like this in existence. Don’t have time to check it out right now but you might be able to google for details… As I mention in the “About itimes3” page, I don’t usually check for details and at times an invention or idea I publish may already exist, which is apparently the case with this one.

If you like this idea and you work in a type of industry where this is relevant, I would be happy to discuss in more detail, answer questions or assist in other ways. For details and contact information please see the “About itimes3” page.

George Spark

Disclaimer: Any trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
All usage of this site is entirely at users risk.

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