Shark Tank Featured Startup: Doorbot

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Mar 05, 2014

This company is worth $7 million already and was featured on US TV show Shark Tank.

Doorbot has developed a video enabled doorbell and claims no other product even comes close to its $200 pricetag. Essentially a doorbell replacement that lets you see who is ringing the front door on your cellphone, Doorbot indeed has the 'cool factor' and over 10,000 units sold.

But the question: is it worth the price? Were the Sharks smart for passing, or did they see problems? In this note we examine Doorbot.

**** ******* ** ***** $7 ******* ******* *** was ******** ** ** TV **** ***** ****.

********** ********* * ***** ******* *********** ****** ** ***** product **** ***** ***** to *** $*** ********. Essentially * ******** *********** that **** *** *** who ** ******* *** front **** ** **** cellphone, ******* ****** *** the '**** ******' *** over **,*** ***** ****.

*** *** ********: ** it ***** *** *****? Were *** ****** ***** for *******, ** *** they *** ********? ** this **** ** ******* Doorbot.

[***************]

Solid ****

*******'* ******* ** * winner ** *****: **** a ******** **** ******* a ***** ******** **** the ****** ** ******, notifying *** *****'* ********** or ****** *** ******* a ****-**** ***** ******* over ****. *** **********, this ** ** ********* concept, ********** ***** *** might ** ******** ** miles **** **** *** front ****.

**** ******, ******* ****** to ** ********** **** a *** *** **** lock:*********. **** ********** ********, the ***** ****** ** let *** ******** *********** with ******* ******** ******* your **** *** **** unlock ** ** *** choose. ***** ******** ******** features, **** ** *******?

Product *******

*** **** ******** **** existing ********,*** **** **** *** previously ********* *****. **** there, *** **** ****** live ***** *** **** notifications ***** **** *** button ** *******. *** promo ***** ***** ******** a **** ********:

******* ****** ******** ***** reviewing *** ***** *** the *******'**** ****:

Notable ********

  • ********* ** ******: *** **** ** built **** * ******* color ****** **** ***/***** mode *** *****-** ** LEDs.
  • ********* ** ******* *******: *** **** ***** with ******** ***-******* ******** power ******** ** *** four ** *********. **** on ******* *****,*** ******* claims ** **** **** over * **** ** normal ***.
  • ***** **** ****** *****: *** ****'* ****** is **** ****** ***** the ****** ** ******, meaning ***** *** **** see***** ******** **** ** when ********** *********. *** company ****** ** ** working ** **** *** will *** **** ******* later, *** *** *** the ****** ** *** a ************ ******, **** a ***** ********.
  • ** *******: ******* *** **** nor ***** ****** *** ***** from *** ******. *** company ****** **** **** be ***** **********.
  • **** ******: *** **** ****** on ** ******** ******** network ** ******* **** mobile ******* *** **** notifications.
  • *****: *** ******* ** widely ********* ****** ** retail ******** *** $*** USD. ***** ** ** ongoing **** ** ******* once *********, *** *** companion *** ** * free ********.

Big *******: ******* ** ** ****

******* *** *********** ******* and ****-******* ********, *******'* execution *** **** ******. The*******'* ****** ********** *** **** ** dissatisfied ********* ********* ***** functionality ****** *** *********** about **** ********. *** customer *** **** **** as *** ** ****** a ***** ************* *** problems ** *******:

*** ********** ****** **** others: **** **** ********* connected ** * ******** network, *** ******* ******* rings ** ************* *** exceed ** *******, ******* users **** * ***** glimpse ** ******* **** than * ******* ******* away.

**** *****, *** ***** is ********** *** ********** freezes, ***** ******, *** blocks *** *******.*** ******* ****** ** is ******* ** ***** issues*** **** ******* **** in ******** *******, *** this ****** **** ******* cheated *** ** $*** and ******* *** * refund.

Bright ******?

**** **** *** ********** execution, *** ****** *** be ****** *** *******. Indeed, ************ ******* *** *** ****** in * ******* *****, but *** ******** *** resulted ** "* **** spike ** ********" **** both ** *** ********* alike ********* ** *** company.

******** **** ************ ******* the ************ ** ***********, Doorbot ***** ***** ** a ******. ****** *********** is ****, **** ************ ****** ******* ********** *** *** *********** ***** ************* *****.

Comments (15)

Good article. Why not 1.3 MP cam, motion sensor, I'm assuming price point. Sounds like it's nowhere close.

In the link to the poor video/audio quality support, the first thing that strikes me

"Doorbot uploads audio and video through your router to our servers, which requires a considerable amount of bandwidth"

So they provide a cloud service. If this is the architecture then there is more to it than just the local wireless connection which the nice gentleman was explaining in his testing.

The product sounds nice, but the fact that they say it uploads to their server just killed it for me.

This is correct, and is reportedly the culprit for the product's performance issues to this point. If they had designed the product to stream video directly via WiFi from the unit to a cellphone, it certainly would work better. But this would exclude use when the phone is not on the same WiFi network, if you were away from home or on a trip, etc...

As a result, the plan calls for everything to be piped to the cloud and then redirected to a phone, even if you're standing feet away. The backend is a mess, and the company is trying to sort out the problems of serving video remotely!

It one of those great ideas that no one has been able to excute. And keep the price low enough for avg household. Maybe Nest will come to rescue? But then again , Google will know even more about us then they do now.

It's like the piper. Great idea but still in beta. Hopefully, couple of interations they can get better.

Paresh

Need a visual of the communication paths/links. Block diagram? Cell phones today use Cell, WiFi And/or bluetooth for data. Mentions only Wifi and then discovering cloud service with the latency? And viewing from afar?

Appears to be bot to router over WiFi to WAN up to the Cloud. Then what? Dialing the Cell back? Or WAN back and WiFi to the phone? Missing is the Cell phone data settings. Data over Cell only. Data over Cell and/Or nearby selected WiFi connections. If from afar?

More like a combination lock with not just 4 numbers or letters. But adding a couple extra and, an 'if-then-else' statement or two. A Ki Kis is sss principle?

Anything that requires a trip out to the Internet and back will mean some sort of lag. Just look at how long it can sometimes take to refresh a web page.

If users are expecting to be able to instantly access the video/audio feed in realtime, they are bound to be disappointed.

But you have to remember, this is a $200 pricepoint, that in todays world is basically a throwaway product. Meaning a consumer will be happy paying $200, using it for what it is (cool factor) and if it stops working, whatever.

Pretty genious idea, better get ready residential installers, as soon as it hits the market, clients are going to choose to do business with the integrator that has the product they want!

"But you have to remember, this is a $200 pricepoint, that in todays world is basically a throwaway product."

What country club are you a member of? :)

I actually do think $200 for a working, combo home security device is feasible but it's probably going to be an upper middle class / rich device at that price point.

$200 for a video doorbell, $150 for lockitron, another few hundred for intrusion, that starts adding up...

I think the rub is that Doorbot simply doesn't work as advertised, not that it stops working.

I worked at Taco Bell in high school. I had a dude threaten to kill me over a $.59 burrito because it didn't have onions on it. I indeed took the veins bulging out of his forehead as a sign of his sincerity. If he wanted to drop me over $0.59, I can't even imagine what $200 does.

Eugene Oregon, Go Ducks! More of a trailer park than Country Club :)

We are so far behind the technology curveball here its not even funny. But we sell so many gadgets and understand the $200 pricetag is not an issue for most. Shoot, even the homeless folks could put this up on their tent doors!

Income devide has gotten worse than ever. I can probably afford to throw away $200 and try to recover what I can on Ebay but lot of people out there are hurting.

Another example: I called Control4 integrator for quote to fix few things that were broken and to upgrade OS/software to latest version. And refine and add more features. The first quote was close to $10k. I then took some features out and still it was $3k. It's just too expensive. In hindsight, I wished I did not get Control4.

There is pend up demand for low cost easy to setup devices and services. Home control and security is ripe for disruptive solution.

Will Google/Nest play distruptive role? Not sure if $129 x number of rooms for smoke detector is affordable.

Will Dropcal expand and grow home market?

You have to remember, this will be pitched as a DIY product. $200 is far less in their minds than hiring a company to come out, quote, sell, install, and suppor this product.

We are also doing a house right now with 2 Nest Thermostats and whole home using Nest Smoke detectors!

DIY market will hurt the integrators if we don't embrace and get on board with some of the technology

Ryan, I agree that it can / will hurt integrators.

There is an alternative to even spending even $200. That's to spend nothing :) For instance, I have no video doorbell and yet I am perfectly content without one!

Update: DoorBot is reporting it secured $4.5 million in funding today.

UPDATE: Doorbot is no more.

They've rebranded themselves as Ring, 'and introduced redesigned hardware with more of a focus on home security'.

This techcrunch quote from the founder is one of the most cringe-inducing statements I have ever read:

"With the Ring doorbell, early on when we were designing it, we decided what we were really doing was designing the alarm system literally turned inside out,” Siminoff said. “Not an alarm system that copied what ABT is doing, what Canary is doing, or even what Dropcam was doing with its window and door systems, but actually building some kind of pre-crime system."

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports on Startup

10 Facial Recognition Providers Review (Secutech) on May 09, 2019
Adding to our 19 Facial Recognition Providers Profiled report from ISC West, IPVM focused on facial recognition technology for our Day 2 coverage...
Proxy Access Control Tested on May 09, 2019
Silicon Valley Access Startup Proxy raised $13.6 Million in May 2019, focusing on mobile physical access control. Beyond the fund raising, Proxy...
Aegis AI Gun Detection Video Analytics Startup on May 07, 2019
Gun detection analytic startups are increasing as the promise of AI and the threats of active shooters grow.  One company, Aegis AI, is being led...
Verkada Cloud VMS/Cameras Tested on May 02, 2019
Verkada is arguably the most ambitious video surveillance startup in many years. The company is developing their own cameras, their own VMS, their...
19 Facial Recognition Providers Profiled on Apr 23, 2019
IPVM interviewed 19 facial recognition providers at ISC West to understand their claimed accuracy, success and positioning. 9 from China, where...
ISC West 2019 Report on Apr 12, 2019
The IPVM team has finished at the Sands looking at what companies are offering and how they are changing their positioning. See below for 50+...
UK Installer CCTV Aware - Flat Pricing, No Salespeople on Apr 10, 2019
This is a different kind of company. They do flat pricing, they do not have any salespeople and 50% of their sales are sold and booked...
Spring 2019 50+ New Products Directory on Apr 08, 2019
We are compiling a list of new products for Spring 2019 and have over 50 already. Contrast to Fall 2018 New Products Directory and Spring 2018...
Startup iryx Launches, Led by Ex-Arecont and FLIR Executives on Apr 04, 2019
Suddenly, the video surveillance industry is witnessing a new wave of startups. Now launching is iryx, a startup led by veterans of 2 of the...
Startup GateKeeper Aims For Unified Physical / Logical Access Token on Apr 04, 2019
This startup's product claims to 'Kill the Password' you use to keep your computers safe.  They have already released their Gatekeeper Halberd...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2019 on May 23, 2019
What is the average frame rated used in video surveillance systems? In IPVM's 2011 statistics, the average was 6-8fps increasing to ~10fps in...
Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
US Considers Sanctions Against Hikvision and Dahua on May 22, 2019
The US government is considering blacklisting "up to 5" PRC surveillance firms, including Hikvision and Dahua, Bloomberg reported, with human...
Dahua USA Celebrates 5 Years of Errors on May 21, 2019
Dahua USA is, in their own words, 'celebrating' 5 years in North America or as trade magazine SSN declared: Dahua Technology finds success in...
Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Covert Facial Recognition Using Axis and Amazon By NYTimes on May 20, 2019
What if you took a 33MP Axis camera covering one of the busiest parks in the US and ran Amazon Facial Recognition against it? That is what the...
Amazon Ring Public Subsidy Program Aims To Dominate Residential Security on May 20, 2019
Amazon dominates market after market. Quitely, but increasingly, they are doing so in residential security, through a combination of significant...
LifeSafety Power NetLink Vulnerabilities And Problematic Response on May 20, 2019
'Power supplies' are not devices that many think about when considering vulnerabilities but as more and more devices go 'online', the risks for...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact