DoorBot WiFi Video Doorbell & Honeywell Smart Thermostat

SlashGear has a double dose of first looks at some new home automation devices–a WiFi video doorbell, and an interactive, voice controlled thermostat. The beauty of the timing is the companies couldn’t be more different: Honeywell is a behemoth, and DoorBot got their financial backing from crowdsourcing.

In practice, if you’re expecting Siri levels of interaction you may be disappointed. There’s noticeable lag between giving a command and having it acted upon, as the server-side processing does its work, though you could argue that it’s not like anything you’re doing with your thermostat is especially time-critical. What we do like is the hands-free convenience, though the true value of being able to bypass buttons and switches and set your HVAC up by voice will only really be achieved when you can establish full programs by speech alone. Honeywell has the WiFi Smart Thermostat with voice control up for preorder now, priced at $349. It’ll begin shipping from October 28.


And then the door

Viewed in isolation, DoorBot feels a little like it errs on the side of geek-gimmick. Looked at as part of a whole-house smart home installation, however, and it starts to makes a lot more sense. By focusing on one aspect of the security provision, it means it can more readily be paired up with other smart home kit, with less overlap and redundancy. The price ins’t ridiculous, and the convenience of only having to think about charging the battery once a year can’t be overstated. Still, remember to factor in the cost of a remote lock if you want the full smart home experience.