It’s Deaf Awareness Week and so to kick it off I’ve decided to share some technology information that may be useful. I’ve been trying out ‘doorbell’ technology as an alternative (or in addition to) a regular doorbell. There are also doorbells that are very loud, or that have flashing lights that are appropriate for use.

image of doorbell

A typical doorbell that can flash or have a very loud noise shown in the image above.

This is another one of those great products that function really well as Assistive Technology but is a mainstream device. When products are mainstream they can often improve through the use of many people as requests are made for features, or improvements made to the devices. Also of note is that they often can cost a lot less than a device made specifically for a disability. These can often cost a lot more money!

Why?

There is also a doorbell called Ring, that has a video camera on the front. There is a button that someone at the door can press. When pressed, you will get a notification to your phone (smartphone with the Ring app installed) or iPad or similar device.

Image of Ring doorbell

The ring doorbell is shown in the image above. It comes in two colours.

image of doorbell

The app will send you a notification wherever you are. You may even be on holiday! From there you can either talk with the person or ignore them. You can also add several different family members who can configure how they get notifications. They may want to only have motion detection for example.

image of Ring app

A user on the Ring app, looking at their connected doorbell(s).

Some people have more than one doorbell and use them as cameras. Because at any point you can open and view the camera, they also make good security devices.

image of motion sensor on Ring

A view of the motion sensing options within the app.

Hearing Loss

I also presented this device at a talk recently and one member of the audience was actually using this and highly recommended it! It is great for leaving instructions for anyone at the door or just keeping tabs on whos at your property. I also spoke with parents of deaf or hearing impaired teens and they also said that being able to leave your teen at home is another perk. They felt more confident being able to leave their teen at home knowing that if someone did come to the door they could either be notified in the app themselves or that the parents could just communicate with the person at the door.

Features

  • See, hear and speak to anyone at your door from your smartphone, tablet or PC.
  • Watch over your home in crystal-clear 1080p HD video. (for the top of the range device)
  • Protect your home-day or night-with infrared night vision.
  • Live View enabled: Check-in on your property at any time with video on demand.
  • Lifetime purchase protection: If your doorbell gets stolen, they’ll replace it, for free!

The video can also be recorded and saved online on the Ring servers, but this requires a paid subscription to the Ring servers.

What do I need?

To be able to use this device you will need to purchase Ring Doorbell 2: this is a listing for Amazon

You need a good wifi connection. The device needs to be connected to be able to work.

To mount the doorbell somewhere outside on your property.

Visual Impairment

This device could also be useful to a person who is visually impaired as they would be able to speak with the person at the door to make a decision if they want to open their door or not. Notifications are available to all family members and people could get a vibration or use VoiceOver to hear that there is a notification regarding the doorbell.

How about you?

Do you use Ring? Have you been looking into this technology? Do you have a positive or negative experience? We’d love to hear from you and find out what and how you are using yours! Please leave a comment.

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