They’re the new eyes for law enforcement, capturing thieves stealing packages from homes. Porch pirates, lawn looters, and backyard bandits are all being watched.
The doorbells are gaining in popularity, with consumer spending on them topping $530 million, according to Strategy Analytics. The data service forecasts more than 3.4 million video doorbells will be sold in 2019.
“Not only can you respond remotely, the camera angle is at the optimum height of capturing a subject’s face,” explained Richard Lee, the South Pasadena Police Department’s crime prevention officer. “They alert you to when anyone is at your door, whether or not they ring the doorbell or just approach. This is especially helpful when expecting a delivery.”
A camera system provides police a better description to identify suspects as opposed to canvassing a neighborhood in search of witnesses.
They real-time footage streams to smartphones, tablets and desktop computers, showing a live feed of those at a front porch or captured on camera somewhere in the yard. Motion detection, cloud video storage, floodlights and sirens also improve the security of a home, say security experts.
“While there are many different makers of video doorbells to chose from, don’t ignore activations,” explained Lee. “If you can’t speak, at least look and see who is at your door. Remember to always make your home appears to be occupied to help prevent a burglary.”
Affordability is key in the high sales of smart doorbells. Some models are less than $100. For example, after the purchase price of $99, the Ring service costs $3 a month or $30 per year and allows storage of videos in the cloud for up to 60 days. Another company, Nest, charges $10 per month for around the clock recording and a video history of 10 days.