I'm working on this for my Raspberry pi based doorbell,
as it's bloody annoying for my phone to tell me someones
at my front door, whist i am at work 40 miles away !
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So they expect a delivery driver to wait around whilst you fish out your phone/tablet from it's hiding place (bag) and answer the Skype call? Around here you have to answer the door within 5 seconds or they're off. Sometimes they're off without even ringing the bell. It's a nice idea in a perfect world but not in mine I'm afraid.
if building automation specialists are like industrial automation (aka SCADA) specialists.... I'd actually rather with Microsoft. Security in SCADA is even worse than Windows security in the 1990s. There's no encryption, no authentication, and complex undocumented protocols. One core element of many of those systems is DCOM for example, a Windows-only binary RPC system... which Microsoft stopped supporting years ago. And of course it's configured without any of its meagre security features by people who can just get it to work.
As John Smith noted above, this sort of thing is always crap and is replete with stack on complications.
All deliveries to my home are taken by the staff at the
sentry box gatehouse. My system is far simpler; a set and forget type arrangement. My man, Reginald, handles the details like background checks, hobbling, loved-one leverage demonstrations and payroll. There are also no risks with respect to power outages or satellite coverage gaps and associated signal availability issues.
I highly recommend a similar arrangement for anyone interested in streamlining their home supply chain logistics.
A "letter box" you say? Genius! I suggest the marketing droids get on it, maybe spice up the name a little. More 21st century. How about "secure parcel delivery port"?
Alternatively go with a completely modern model. Give them a 'free' branded "letter box" with the caveat that everything that passes through the "letter box" is scanned with the contents information used to build a profile of you?
It's a revenue generator both ways: Sales of branding rights with customized corporate logos and sales of customer information!
"Click Here to order your Amazon Secure Shipment Vault".
Already doing this using SIP, installed it over a year ago (after several years of theorising about using our existing camera doorphone). Admittedly, most of the time I rely on it forwarding to my mobile rather than using SIP video as 3G coverage can be a bit flaky here, but it has proved its usefulness with deliveries and unexpected visitors. If I want the full fat version, I fire up the SIP client on my phone.
However, even though the unit I use can activate relays, I wouldn't trust an externally (either physical or internet) connected device with access to any security lock.
We've got one of those stupid building automation systems. It's a piece of crap. You have to hold down a light switch for 30 seconds or more because the controlling PC is too crap and overloaded to poll more often.
Oh yeah and after 5pm, it starts randomly killing the lights, because you don't trigger the motion sensors sitting in your cube actually doing work.
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Other than costing 50p how does that differ from the normal scenario for working people of having to collect their parcels from the post office?
Don't get me wrong, it's a great concept, mainly because it was what was already working. Nobody home because they're at work, neighbours the same, back it goes and a card through the letter box. Far better than the couriers system of vaguely slowing down as they pass your house then delivering everything for the area to one house or returning it to an industrial estate 30 miles away.
It would be great to see better support, but many companies don't like pobox deliveries and this is pretty similar. They should support it for established accounts only perhaps?
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