What People Think When the Doorbell Rings

July 18, 2013

When the doorbell rings, 30 percent of consumers would like X-ray vision to be able to see who on the other side of the door, according to new nationwide survey.  Sponsored by VTech Communications Inc., a manufacturer of a new line of video doorbell phone systems, the 2,000-person survey found that 22 percent of respondents wanted an intercom to engage with the visitor and wanted to continue activities unnoticed after hearing the bell.

Nearly all respondents (95 percent) said they won’t open the door before checking who is there. The vast majority (89 percent) said they sometimes hesitate to open the door when the bell rings, especially late at night (57 percent), when there’s an unfamiliar face (42 percent) or when home alone (31 percent).

Conducted by Toluna, an independent market research firm, the survey found women are more concerned about security than men. Sixty percent of women check who is at the door due to safety worries compared to 45 percent of men. Men, instead, were more apt than women to peek out of curiosity or to screen visitors.

Emotions vary for an unexpected doorbell ring, with curiosity topping the list (43 percent), followed by annoyance (21 percent), surprise (12 percent) and anxiousness (12 percent). The greatest bother to Americans is a doorbell ringing when they are asleep (40 percent), followed by when they are eating a meal (23 percent) and when they are in the shower (21 percent).

The survey also found that the majority of consumers (69 percent) take some measure to protect their homes with 43 percent hoping the family dog will warn them of any trouble. Nearly one third (31 percent) use alarm systems and almost a quarter use motion-detecting lights (23 percent).

“In our work with the new VTech video doorbell system, we wanted to find out what Americans think about their doorbells and if this fixture on the front porch is still something people feel attached to,” says Matt Ramage, VTech Communications senior vice president, product management. “We saw that knowing who’s at the door still provides a sense of comfort and security–while satisfying an equal desire for curiosity and convenience. As Americans embrace more digital solutions in the home, we can now take the doorbell concept a step further to accommodate all of those needs.”

The company's new video doorbell phone system allows homeowners to find out who’s at the door before answering, using an easy-to-install video doorbell on the front porch that displays a video image or streaming video right on the home phone handset. The system combines a base unit, two handsets with 1.8-inch color LCD screens and a digital camera module for the front doorbell. When someone rings the doorbell, a photo is discreetly taken and sent to each phone handset for immediate viewing. Homeowners can enable a microphone to speak to visitors or set up the system to view streamed video.