A video doorbell will keep an eye on anyone on your porch, but a new one from smart-home company Maximus will also let you see the packages left on your doorstep. It’s all thanks to a second camera in the Maximus Answer DualCam Video Doorbell—the first of its kind—which was announced at CES.
The view from current video doorbells is designed to show people approaching your porch or doorstep and capturing their faces while they are standing there. Here’s what it looks like from a Nest Hello video doorbell.
Notice how the lower part of the doorstep closest to the door isn’t in the frame? It doesn’t really need to be for the purpose of capturing visitors but that blind spot is usually where delivery people leave packages. Typically I see them approach and the package is dropped off and out of view.
The new Maximus video doorbell gives you a view of that spot thanks to a second camera on the bottom of the unit. It looks like this:
The app shows video from both cameras. On the top is video from the upper camera while on the bottom is the view from the lower camera.
It’s certainly a nice idea and being able to see exactly what’s on your doorstep—or that it’s still there—might bring people reassurance.
In terms of features, the Answer matches up to others on the market with 1080p high-def video, two-way talk, and night vision. Maximus offers a two-hour window for reviewing captured footage free of charge. After that, it’s either deleted or you need to pay for a cloud storage plan. The cost is between $5 and $20 per month depending on the number of cameras on the plan and the length of cloud storage.
The Maximus Answer DualCam Video Doorbell will be coming later in 2019 and will cost $199.
Maximus is also planning to launch an upgrade to its Smart Security Lights. The new Camera Porch Light has a wider field of view (180 degrees versus 155 degrees), a higher-resolution camera (1080p versus 720p), and an improved passive infrared motion sensor. Further details about the lights were not announced.
Martyn Williams produces technology news and product reviews in text and video for PC World, Macworld, and TechHive from his home outside Washington D.C.. He previously worked for IDG News Service as a correspondent in San Francisco and Tokyo and has reported on technology news from across Asia and Europe.