While a smart doorbell can be valuable for home security - not to mention avoiding sleazy salesmen and unwanted solicitors - there are a couple of pain points. You have to install it, sometimes you have to sign up for a subscription, and you usually have to choose between a smartphone and a dedicated screen.
Eques wants to eliminate those pain points with Veiu, its new smart doorbell and peephole which is currently looking for support on Kickstarter. The device itself is comprised of two parts, the actual doorbell that sits outside of your home and a 5-inch touchscreen on the other side, with the complete system sandwiching your front door. There's also a companion app for iOS and Android that'll allow you to do the things you're used to with a smart doorbell, like talk to people outside, see live video and take screenshots.
Essential reading: The best smart home systems
Eques's first goal is to make a smart doorbell that's easy to install. Enya Hu, Eques COO, actually flags competitor Ring. "We find their installation is awful," she tells Wareable. "I bought one Ring and I just cannot install it."
Simple installation is one of the big goals behind the Veiu. The device slots right through your door's existing peephole, and Hu claims that anyone with a screwdriver can install one in about five minutes. However if you don't have a peephole already you'll have to drill one.
Hu tells us one of the defining visions behind the Veiu was the ability for anyone in the family to use it, from kids all the way up to the elderly. Because a lot of smart doorbells are built around the smartphone, it can be difficult for people inside the home without access to see or interact with people on the outside. This is the purpose for the touchscreen peephole inside your home. Anyone inside the house can go up and do anything the companion smart app can do. They can talk to the person outside, capture an image if something shady is going on, or view older saved footage.
That final feature is another pain point that Eques is hoping to solve with the Veiu. While the Veiu can connect to your smartphone and Wi-Fi, it's not reliant on an internet connection to function. It carries 2GB on on-board storage, expandable to 32GB, and a rechargeable battery with up to two months of life, so you can keep and view your footage if your internet cuts out. There is cloud storage available, which will keep your footage for 15 days, but there are no monthly subscriptions.
Ah, the sweet nectar of this eternal question. Hu tells us that everything in regards to the Veiu is good to go - it's even been sending units out to people. The only thing the Kickstarter money is going to be used for is funding mass production that's set up and ready to go whenever the money is. At the time of writing, the Veiu has blown past its Kickstarter goal of $30,000, raising $90,000.
The one big question mark lingering over the Veiu, which has been asked by several Kickstarter backers already, is weatherproofing. Eques doesn't claim that the device is fully weatherproof, though Hu says the device has been installed at homes in Russia and Australia, two places with wildly different climates, and the company hasn't seen any complaints so far from either extreme cold or hot environments.
She also tells us the device is about as water resistant as an iPhone 6s. Namely, if there's some rain it'll be fine, but if you douse it with water it won't be. Data is the reason Eques can't yet call the Veiu waterproof. Hu says the company doesn't want to claim the product is waterproof until groups it invited to test the device's capabilities give them enough data to prove that claim.
On top of that, the device is a little pricey compared to competing smart doorbells, at $299, though Eques is quick to point out that the 5-inch touchscreen is the reason for that. Early bird Kickstarter backers, however, can nab the Veiu for $199.
If Eques can sort out the weatherproofing, it looks like it should be able to deliver a fairly robust smart doorbell that reduces the number of hassles in current smart doorbells while being easy to use for the entire family, from children to the elderly.