Rima Sabina Aouf describes a "minimalist" door bell in Dezeen.  Just launched on Kickstarter, the "Ding" door bell provides a wireless door bell ringing and answering system.

The system consists of a button, which is hung on or near the door in question, and a speaker, which emits the chime.  Both components have been simply styled, appearing as almost featureless rectangles with circular ends:

  • "We have designed the Ding smart doorbell to be simple, beautiful and smart, improving the user experience and ensuring its design works elegantly with modern homes," said John Nussey, co-­founder and CEO of Ding.

Ding also incorporates hidden complexity.  It includes a smartphone app that notifies users when their door bell has been pushed and allows them to answer the door through the app. (The button contains a small speaker for this purpose.)

At least two questions arise in assessing this design.  First: Will people at the door understand that the oblong object on the wall is a door bell?  That seems likely enough; the button stands out and looks pressable, and why else would such an odd item be hanging near someone's door, anyway?

Second: Is the Internet functionality necessary?  In the past, a door bell has been a device that merely makes a noise inside the house when someone presses a button outside it.  Won't this arrangement still work fine or are home owners now so engaged with their phones that they must be notified of callers through those devices?  Or, will home owners appreciate the ability to answer the door using their phones even when they are not at home?

I am reminded of an observation made by Anna Minton: She no longer likes to answer her door bell at all.  When her friends visit, they text her on arrival, at which point she lets them in.  If the door bell rings without such a warning, she assumes that a door-to-door salesman, or someone similar, has arrived and does not respond.  Deep in the smartphone era, this attitude may be the norm.

So, is the Ding the next step in the evolution of the door bell or an unnecessary novelty?

Ding door bell system

Photo courtesy of Ding/Kickstarter.

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