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Posted - 03/07/2019 :  07:35:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello folks,

I’ve had an interesting request from a friend. He has recently moved his aunt into a new condo so she could be closer to he and his wife. She has some issues and needs care for certain things. She’s able to live by herself but has home care people who drop in and help her throughout the week. She’s older, not technically savvy at all. For all intents and purposes she’s unable to be an active participant in the solution my friend is looking for.

In a nutshell he’s interested in knowing if the front door to the condo opens and if it does he’d like an email or text notification with a camera shot of the door.

We all know there are LOTS of window/door open/close sensors out there and lots of cameras. The trick is to have a camera pointed at the front door that will ignore any traffic in front of it from a motion detection standpoint. He’s only interested in seeing what’s going on at the door if it’s opened.

He’s not adverse to setting up a smart home solution. He’s technically more savvy than most but has no experience in home automation. I have experience in home automation, which is why he reached out to me, but I’ve pretty much married myself to an Insteon system in my home. I haven’t kept on top of all the different new technologies that have been popping up in the last five years. (Ring, Phillips, Ecobee, etc. it seems everybody want to get in on the smart outlet and switch market now.)

Short of getting him set up with an ISY system, I’m reaching out to you to see if you have any ideas on how to impliment a simple solution to this problem.
(I know we’re asking for a logic solution along the lines of IF the door is open THEN take picture AND email/text it. Might be hard not to go with a smart hub of some kind.)

And I should note that the camera doing the recording needs to be inside. The condo association doesn’t allow their tenants to mount anything to the exterior of the units. So the camera needs to ignore motion inside the unit such as his aunt walking past it. Only if the front door is open does he want to see camera views.

Thank you, in advance, for your thoughts!

Edited by - Aviatordave on 03/07/2019 07:41:00 AM


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Posted - 03/07/2019 :  08:57:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The existing video doorbells won’t work if you can’t get permission to mount one outside. There’s a nice peephole camera by a major brand that was announced at CES, but I don’t think it is available yet. (Besides, for those you need to figure out who will recharge the battery and maintain it.)

Have you looked at the Wyze Cam? Stick one of those to the interior wall in the entryway opposite the door, plug in a power cord and connect it to your WiFi, then download the app—it’ll store 12 seconds of video on its cloud service and send a push notification to a phone every time it is activated. Mount it high and facing the door, that way you can set the detection zone to ignore people walking around inside the house. Add a micro SD card for longer recordings.
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Starting Member

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Posted - 03/07/2019 :  09:47:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I vaguely recognize the brand of the Wyze cam. More specifically my friend and I hadn’t thought of mounting the camera up high. That might solve all the problems and could be accomplished with any number of different cameras. I’ll look more into the Wyze. I haven’t seen the layout of his aunt’s condo so I’ve asked him if mounting high might be an option.

Thank you. Your advice sure fits the bill for a simple solution!
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