Connected Objects
Chui bites into the connected doorbell race

Premise. Calling somewhere “home” usually has its perks, but it’s not without drawbacks. For instance, once word gets out that you’re living somewhere all types of people will show up at said place just to see you. This usually requires interrupting the glorious activities you choose to do in your spare time, just to answer the door.  Sports can’t just watch itself you know.

Product. When people just won’t stay away, Chui solves your problems by allowing you to see and speak to the person at your front door. Not having to get up from your couch to decline a new religion is always a win. You can also leave personal messages for specific individuals you know will be coming by. This is especially handy for telling a trusted friend or even your parents where you have hidden the spare key in your absence. Chui uses facial recognition software to first identify your visitor and then play your pre-recorded message.

Pitch. Chui’s product page does a good job of making a new product technology easy and intuitive to understand. In the pitch video, founders explain that Chui aims to augment the connected movement by making our homes smarter and socially intelligent. You will also see that Chui was unveiled at this year’s CES and is being tested for consumer and commercial uses including employee clocking, member check-in, and admittance to restricted areas.

Perks. While Chui is already in production, for $199 you still have the opportunity to reserve one of the first units to be produced before retail availability, shipping in Fall of 2014.

Potential. Chui has already proven its mass market appeal, and there is already competition on the horizon from other players like Goji and Doorbot. Doorbot is a very similar product with a slightly more interesting design, which is also offered for $199. While Chui incorporates facial recognition software and is focused a little more on providing access or information to a customized group of people, Doorbot is intended for more general use as a smart doorbell for anyone at the door. For $235 Goji takes the idea one step further by integrating a remote locking/unlocking mechanism, while Doorbot and Chui rely on integration with a dedicated smart lock called Lockitron. A neat benefit of Goji is that it can send electronic keys to anyone at anytime and for any duration – and can even work via a key fob for members of the family who may not own a smartphone.

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