I've got a great neighborhood. It's pretty cohesive and busy. I also have kids who have friends in the neighborhood; all summer long, the door is constantly opening and closing as kids move back and forth between our house and theirs. There's also a constant flow of adults back and forth. In short, it can seem like it's Grand Central in here some days. I work from home occasionally, and every time the doorbell rings it's a distraction. I'd really prefer to know who was at the door so that I could send a kid to open it for their friend rather than me having to do it.
One possible solution would be to install one of the video doorbells. However, I think they're bulky, ugly, and worst of all, you have to open an app or a browser window to see the image of the person at the door. No, that won't do at all; my laziness has dictated a less involved solution.
One common element of all of these people who pass by and through my door every day? They all carry smart phones. And chances are, their smartphones are searching for a wireless connection. Not only that, but a camera attached to the system should be able to identify people based on facial recognition; BTW, have you seen the Google Photos? That thing is crazy. It also demonstrates that computers have reached the point where they can do really effective facial recognition.
Between the facial recognition and sniffing packets to identify MAC addresses (typically unique to devices), I should be able to pretty easily determine who is at my doorstep and play a unique sound instead of having a single doorbell chime. Thus, with a little bit of software and hardware, I am slowly reaching my full potential as a large sedentary mammal.
The proposed hardware:
- Prcessor: i.mx6SL from Freescale
- A Wifi dongle
- A basic camera; I've seen people using the MT9M021, but I don't have experience with this (yet). We'll see which one I choose
- A speaker
That's it. The magic of the situation is going to be in sniffing wifi signals and doing the facial recognition.