Don’t want anyone touching your doorbell in the age of COVID-19? We don’t blame you, and now two smart home companies—Arlo and Alarm.com—have arrived at this year’s virtual CES with their own touchless video doorbells.
While the Alarm.com Touchless Video Doorbell might, at first glance, look like a standard smart doorbell, complete with an oval design and a camera lens, a telltale “don’t touch!” icon makes it clear that you won’t need to press any buttons.
Instead, visitors must stand on a doormat placed at a discreet distance from the doorbell (“Stand on mat to ring doorbell,” the doormat helpfully reads) while the doorbell’s person detection features will automatically ring the indoor chime, send an alert to your phone, and begin recording a video clip.
Alarm.com’s Touchless Video Doorbell also provides 1080p HDR video resolution, a vertical 150-degree field of vision, two-way audio, infrared night vision, and an onboard heater to keep the doorbell warm in cold conditions.
Arlo’s Touchless Video Doorbell
Meanwhile, smart security manufacturer Arlo has its own Touchless Video Doorbell in the pipeline for 2021. Rather than having a visitor stand on a doormet, Arlo’s touchless doorbell uses a proximity sensor to detect someone approaching the doorstep. Once the doorbell spots a visitor, it will sound a chime and shine a light to let the person know that the doorbell has been rung.
Arlo has yet to release more details about its Touchless Video Doorbell (indeed, we don’t even have a picture yet), but the new device did manage to nab a 2021 CES Innovation Award.
Arlo already has a couple of other video doorbells in its lineup, including wired and wireless versions. Both of those doorbells support a maximum 1536 x 1536 video resolution, a 180-degree viewing angle, HDR and night vision, two-way audio, and a built-in siren.
Arlo Essential Indoor camera
In addition to its Touchless Video Doorbell, Arlo also announced a new indoor camera with a privacy shield that blocks the lens when the camera is disarmed.
The Essentials Indoor camera will stop recording and turn off motion and audio detection when its privacy shield is engaged. When the camera is switched back to “armed” mode (which can be done manually via the Arlo mobile app), it disengages the privacy shield and resumes recording and motion detection.
As with its Touchless Video Doorbell, Arlo has yet to reveal more details about the Essentials Indoor camera, which (like the doorbell) won a CES Innovation Award. Conceptually, the camera sound like the Kangaroo Privacy Camera, which has an opaque lens that turns clear when it’s charged by an electrical field, and the Cync Indoor Camera that GE Lighting announced ahead of CES.
This story, "Arlo and Alarm.com bow similar but different touchless video doorbells" was originally published by Playlist.