Internet of Things: Peeple tells you who's at the door


There's already caller ID, social profiling and CCTV recording your every movement – but now your neighbor can use their smartphones to check if you're at their front door.

Meet Peeple; a front door's new best friend - a small camera fixed onto the inside of a front door's peephole. When someone knocks, an image is taken and is sent via the homeowner's Wi-Fi system to their smartphone.

It lets the homeowner know who knocks or even comes in and out of their house if they're not about to answer the door.

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Finbarr Watterson | Peeple | Highway1

Peeple says its main objective is to bring a sense of security – or what Chris Chuter, CEO and co-founder of Peeple, calls "securiosity" to the masses.

Chuter found his inspiration when his son left his Austin-based house to visit his grandmother in Houston, Chuter wanted to ensure he knew when his door opened and closed.

"When caller ID for phones came along (before voicemail even), people were skeptical that it would be useful, but think about it now. Would you buy a phone that didn't have caller ID. No, of course not. If we execute this correctly, it will be like that" Chuter told CNBC via email.

The device itself only needs charging around once every six months. A price for Peeple has not yet been set, however Chuter expected it to be "less than competitive doorbell offerings on the market" Chuter said.

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CES: Popularity for Peeple

Peeple gained a welcome boost at TechCrunch's Hardware Battlefield 2015 competition at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Competing against 14 other hardware startups for a $50,000 prize, Peeple came in second behind Voltera V-One, a circuit-board printing device.

Talking about CES, Chris says "the flashy, huge booths are crowd pleasers, but I feel like it's the people in the tiny tables in the back who are really taking the risks and pushing the boundaries of what technological can and should do."

Chuter aims on launching a crowd-funding campaign around March saying "When I see people's eyes light up when they get the concept, it really energizes me. It's a genuine 'AHA!' moment and I love it."

Chuter concluded with "We'd like to ship by the end of the year, but that depends a lot on a successful crowd funding campaign, further development, field testing, and figuring out all the details to manufacturing in China."

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The Internet of Things

Peeple is one more product that's connected itself to the "Internet of Things" – a network of home devices connected to one another over the web. And there are other only internet-connected devices that are concerned about your home security.

Canary is a home security device that monitors a house's overall environment; detecting if there's a change in temperature, sounds and movements. Like 'Peeple', Canary sends notifications to your smartphone when it detects that something's not right at home. It is currently selling at a price of $249.

Lockitron gives your smartphone the power to control the locks on your front door. Placed over your current lock, the Lockitron device is connected to an app that allows you to lock/unlock your door with the flick of a finger. It is currently selling at $179. It was a sure-fire win, after generating more than $1.5 million in preorders during the first five days of its launch.

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Living with a hectic schedule means that people need "convenience" and "reassurance" when it comes to their routine and technology, says Phillip Pexton, analyst at Canalys (EMEA).

"We are currently seeing startups "test the market, to see and show what technology can do. The question is which devices will be adopted by the consumer," Pexton concluded.

However, whilst IoT may be a "step in the right direction,", there are flaws.

"What if you lose your phone? This could allow people to take advantage of your home security which can lead to them getting ahold of your bank details, personal identity details," Pexton warned.

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