The Dilemma at the Door: Knowing when you have guests

Darn!

There it is again. 

You are just seeing the message for the first time when you are about to leave your home to do some errands. The local post office has put a note on the door letting you know that a delivery attempt was made.  How could you have missed it, you wonder? 

You start to retrace your steps, remembering everything you were doing to solve the missing link. Was it when you were in the bathroom? In the bedroom? Or when you stepped outside on the deck? You struggle to come up with an explanation. But trying to figure out the past now is starting to feel like wasting time. Right now, there is no time to try to change what has happened. You have other priorities now. You need to figure out how to squeeze in a trip to the local post office to collect your package as if your schedule isn’t busy enough.

Have you ever missed a visitor or an unexpected arrival at your apartment door? They attempted to communicate with you by knocking or maybe ringing the doorbell. However, your hearing just couldn’t pick up anything to get your attention that someone was at the door.

You can use various solutions to help you know that someone is at your door. Some solutions are designed for people with low hearing, and others are hacks using standard technologies.

Motion Sensors with Video Camera

Motion sensors with video cameras can be purchased online or in electronic stores.  They are typically labelled as security and surveillance products to help people manage their property for unwanted intruders. However, these can be used as an alternative to hearing senses. 

Video cameras are widely used at residential homes to collect video recordings of activities at your front door. If you live in an apartment, condo building or in a hotel, you will need to get permission in advance to have any camera in the hallway or common area inside the building. Most buildings have strict rules to alter common spaces, and consent is required, especially regarding cameras and invading people’s privacy.

Using a camera alone wouldn’t help without knowing when to investigate the activities are happening at the door. Sensors can assist with identifying objects in real-time to alert to activities. In addition, sensors are built to pick up movements or body temperatures within the vicinity. Most cameras combined with advanced technology to distinguish between humans, animals and cars to minimize the number of false detections.

Wireless Doorbell

A doorbell alerts can be sold as one device, a doorbell with a camera. It can come with an app to download to your smartphone to alert you when someone presses the doorbell. Once the doorbell is pressed, the app will alert you and provide a live video stream of who is at the door.

Other wireless doorbells have two parts, a doorbell and a visual light device. Once someone presses the doorbell, the visual device will activate and light up, alerting you to someone at the door. 

Some doorbells will not provide a visual display but amplify the doorbell tone or ring volume. These doorbells serve the purpose of hearing the doorbell by making it louder. Again, this would work well if you have your hearing aids or other hearing devices on.

Yet, you may not have the authority to install a wireless doorbell outside the door without consent from the property and condo management. You will need permission before mounting the doorbell before you buy.

Door Vibration Sensor

Doorknock sensors are an option if you find that you can’t install a doorbell or camera in the hallways and common property. These sensors are mounted on the door out of view from the common area. The vibration of the knock triggers the sensor that movement on the door has occurred. 

Doorknock sensors do not operate on their own. Instead, it has to be paired with another device used to get your attention. For example, they can be paired with a base that can attach a shaker or act as a visual device. Sold separately, you may need to buy more devices to be available in different spaces in your place unless you plan on carrying the base device with you everywhere you are.

Sound Recognition App

Sound recognition applications are newer and more advanced. They allow the benefit of multiple devices into one solution. For example, you can use a smartphone instead of purchasing another product. The microphone on your device acts as an ear to capture sounds nearby. It operates as a hearing aid but focuses on specific sounds rather than speech.

If you want to get notified of a door knock, your phone will be typically by your side and alert you with a visual display or alert you using other smart devices paired to your phones, such as smartwatches or smart lights.

There are better ways to cope than standing by your door, interrupting what you need to do waiting for someone else to arrive. No one should live with the anxiety that someone will arrive unexpectedly by opening your unlocked door or because you broadcast your hearing loss with a sign on the door. 

There are ways to manage your environment independently to suit you and the life you want to live. The next time you get a “Knock, Knock,” you can respond and answer, “Who’s there!

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