Control & Automation

UPDATED: Best Wi-Fi Doorbell Revealed by Clare Controls at ISC West

Of all the Wi-Fi doorbells, the best DIY-type product for the pro channel could be the new Clare Video Doorbell, a slim, smart unit that integrates well with home automation systems and needs only two wires, no transformers. Updated with Q&A.

UPDATED: Best Wi-Fi Doorbell Revealed by Clare Controls at ISC West
Introduced at ISC West 2017, Clare Video Doorbell from Clare Controls is home-automation friendly and runs on a home's existing doorbell wiring.

UPDATES: See Q&A below.

More about Clare Controls

Who are we? Clare Controls is a manufacturer of intelligent automation solutions. With a team of some of the brightest and most experienced leaders and engineers in the...
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  Clare Controls Company Info
Julie Jacobson · April 7, 2017

Introduced at ISC West 2017 this week, the new Clare Video Doorbell from Clare Controls is the best Wi-Fi doorbell I’ve seen -- at least in this class of products (DIY-friendly, but built for pros). And I’ve seen a lot of them.

It's one of the prettiest, smartest, simplest products available (soon), and the only one in its class that employs the ONVIF standard for integrating with third-party NVRs and home automation systems. (Correction: DoorBird has ONVIF.)

The suggested retail price is $249 and it’s only available through professional home-technology integrators.

“Dealers are ridiculously happy,” says Delia Hansen, VP sales and marketing for Clare Controls.

UPDATES: See Q&A below.

Clare Video Doorbell from Clare Controls at ISC West 2017: slender, home-automation friendly, and just two wires. Best Wi-Fi Doorbell to date. Only for pros.

Two-Wire Smart Doorbell

Let’s start with the big one: The product runs on the home’s existing doorbell wiring. No batteries needed. No transformers. Just two wires. Most doorbells run on 16-24 volts, and that’s what Clare supports.

Clare developed the technology that enables this device to be so darn efficient, even while delivering 1080p video over the network.

The magic is in the device’s SD Card. The camera records to the card first, and then transmits the video a split-second later.

The SD Card (up to 128 GB) is another handy feature for local video storage. The card (and the doorbell itself) is tied to the user’s account, so it’s worthless to a thief.

“You can steal it, but you can’t use it,” Hansen says.

Integration with NVRs, Home Automation

The Clare doorbell employs the ONVIF standard for IP cameras, making it out-of-the-box compatible with most respectable NVRs and several home automation systems including Crestron, Control4 and Savant.

With ONVIF compatibility, dealers should be able to treat the Clare doorbell camera like any other camera on a network, using their surveillance software of choice.

Of course Clare, which started life as a maker of cameras and NVRs before it got into the home-automation business, hopes dealers will specify its own ClareVision products and ClareHome automation platform.

This feature is, in a word, awesome.

Integration has been one of the biggest pains for home-technology specialists whose customers demand those popular consumer-friendly doorbells.

The Clare product answers the call, so to speak.

Clare Video Doorbell Ships with three faceplates

Other Nifty Features

  • It’s slim and pretty.
  • It ships with a drill bit for cement installs, so technicians can “lose the drill bit on every job,” Hansen says.
  • It ships with three cover plates for your choice of aesthetics.
  • There are no monthly fees … with a big but. Clare does not yet provide cloud storage. When that comes, there could be fees.
  • The doorbell transmits video upon motion detection – five seconds before the event, throughout the event, and five seconds after.
  • The doorbell is expected to ship May 1. You might see others like it at ISC, but don’t expect any of those to ship for quite some time. Clare developed the product itself, but it’s manufactured by long-time partner Hikvision. Clare has a very long head-start with the doorbell.

For Pros Only

The Clare Video Doorbell is only available through Clare dealers. Consumers can purchase the doorbell themselves through the MyClareHome portal only after being on-boarded by a pro. The pro receives a small commission for all products purchased by their customers.

Last year I suggested that Clare might have “The Most Disruptive Business Model in Home Automation.”

The doorbell is just the tip of the iceberg. Clare introduced an amazing ecosystem that includes professional security monitoring and sweet products for the product-builder market.

More details on these developments coming soon. Meanwhile, if you’re at ISC, visit Clare at the Resolution Products booth (#22067). Resolution itself has some great news to share … also coming soon.

Delia Hansen: Just two screws!
Hansen with Clare Controls founder Brett Price at ISC West 2017.

UPDATE: Q&A with Clare

Q:  Is there an API/SDK available for this?
A:  Yes, it will be available in May.

Q:  Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t see any mention or obvious location for a speaker on this unit, maybe its on the bottom?  
A:  Yes, the speaker is on the bottom.

Q:  There is also no mention of how one would communicate with the person at the door, is it a proprietary mobile app? 
A:  Yes, we provide a free proprietary app.

Q:  Is managing a Cloud infrastructure an area Clare Controls has any experience with?
A:  Yes…We are a software company.

Q:  Does the communication integrate with third-party control systems?
A:  Yes, the API will be available in May.

Q:  Does it support SIP?
A:  It does not support SIP.

Q:  What kind of data can be shared from the product to third-party systems via API? Button presses? Sensor data? (use as PIR for front door?).
A:  Button presses, motion events, audio & video streams.

Q:  If you’re not SIP, is there a way to support two-way communications through third-party systems?
A:  Yes, this will be available in the API.

Q:  Can you be more specific about what this product can accomplish over 2 wires that competitors can’t? They all claim to work over existing 2 wires.
A:  All competitors do claim to work over existing wiring. However some do not ring the existing door chime and others require additional parts to be installed at the chime. Our product rings all existing door chimes and does not require any additional parts. 



7 Clever Ways to Hide Home Technology - CE Pro Download

Most technology products are not that visually appealing. Black boxes and tangled wires do not add to the character of a high-end smart home project. Luckily, our integrator readers have a number of clever solutions so these components don’t have to be visible in your next project.




UPDATES: See Q&A below." />
  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at jjacobson@ehpub.com

Follow Julie on social media:
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  Article Topics


Control & Automation · Automation · Security · Cameras · Events · ISC · News · Products · Clare Controls · Doorbell · ONVIF · All Topics
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Comments

Posted by Bill Sheppard on April 10, 2017

Mark, perhaps a battery or capacitor in the unit which sustains power during the button press…

Posted by mark at combitech on April 10, 2017

Have to agree with Iknowtech, although I’m still puzzled how a 2 wire solution that needs to power the unit can ring the bell at the same from a press of the button without loosing power and therefore network…. Am I missing something?

Posted by Julie Jacobson on April 9, 2017

Awesome, Jeremy. Thanks. I’ll add these Q&A to the story.

Posted by JeremyA on April 9, 2017

Q:  What kind of data can be shared from the product to third-party systems via API? Button presses? Sensor data? (use as PIR for front door?).

A:  Button presses, motion events, audio & video streams.

Q:  If you’re not SIP, is there a way to support two-way communications through third-party systems?

A:  Yes, this will be available in the API.

Q:  Can you be more specific about what this product can accomplish over 2 wires that competitors can’t? They all claim to work over existing 2 wires.

A:  All competitors do claim to work over existing wiring. However some do not ring the existing door chime and others require additional parts to be installed at the chime. Our product rings all existing door chimes and does not require any additional parts. 

Posted by Julie Jacobson on April 8, 2017

Thanks, Jeremy—And more:

What kind of data can be shared from the product to third-party systems via API? Button presses? Sensor data? (use as PIR for front door?).

If you’re not SIP, is there a way to support two-way communications through third-party systems?

Can you be more specific about what this product can accomplish over 2 wires that competitors can’t? They all claim to work over existing 2 wires.

thx

Posted by JeremyA on April 8, 2017

Hey guys!  We this product bridges the gap between the DIY products and the higher end systems.  See the answers to your questions below.  Hope this helps!

Q:  Is there an API/SDK available for this?
A:  Yes, it will be available in May.

Q:  Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t see any mention or obvious location for a speaker on this unit, maybe its on the bottom? 
A:  Yes, the speaker is on the bottom.

Q:  There is also no mention of how one would communicate with the person at the door, is it a proprietary mobile app? 
A:  Yes, we provide a free proprietary app.

Q:  Is managing a Cloud infrastructure an area Clare Controls has any experience with?
A:  Yes…We are a software company.

Q:  Does the communication integrate with third-party control systems?
A:  Yes, the API will be available in May.

Q:  Does it support SIP?
A:  It does not support SIP.

Features:
No monthly fees!
1080p Resolution
Upgradeable storage
Works will all doorbells(analog & digital)
Rings the doorbell
Works with NVR’s
Open API (available in May)

Posted by iKnowTech on April 8, 2017

I would definitely say there are lots of other video intercom systems that support ONVIF, including Axis, 2N, Mobotix, Holovision, Siedel,  to name just a few.  Also while ONVIF may make this device compatible with lots of NVR devices, ONVIF does little to make the device compatible with Automation systems, beyond just viewing the video feed?    Is there an API/SDK available for this?

Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t see any mention or obvious location for a speaker on this unit, maybe its on the bottom?  There is also no mention of how one would communicate with the person at the door, is it a proprietary mobile app?  If its via a proprietary app, how is the connection to a mobile device made, is Clare Controls running their own proxy/relay infrastructure in the cloud?  Is managing a Cloud infrastructure an area Clare Controls has any experience with?

As others have mentioned without SIP, this pretty much excludes this from being a consideration in any type of high end custom installation.

That said at $249, this device is nowhere near the price point of those types of higher end systems. 

Coming out of the gate saying this is the “Best Wi-Fi doorbell on the Planet” is a pretty bold statement, I would expect a lot more details on how this works to back that statement up.  If you ask me, at this price point, and what information you have shared, this is definitely seems more in the DIY category with Ring, the late Skybell, and August I would say, than something that would be taken very seriously in the custom integrators realm.

Posted by PHAND on April 7, 2017

Teleport from Logenex also does ONVIF and works great with NVRs, but does not do Wifi.

Posted by mark at combitech on April 7, 2017

happy with the doorbird, no issues but agreed the wifi set up isnt ideal. No problems purchasing either…..tons of options. I do like the edge recording and yes thumbs down on the big logo. Nice looking and decent bezel options.

Posted by TheDarkKnight on April 7, 2017

This looks exactly like the Ring Pro - size, price, 2 wires, 3 color options, drillbit in the box, etc.

View all comments.

Posted by jmcdermott1678 on April 7, 2017

This looks awesome, but how does the communicating with guests work?  Is it an app?  Does the communication integrate with third-party control systems, or just the camera?  WiFi is okay, but it would be nice to have a wired PoE option as well.  Just being picky smile

Posted by Julie Jacobson on April 7, 2017

You’re allowed to be picky! I’ll ask Clare to respond.

Posted by rparker on April 7, 2017

Doorbird can work off two wires too.And doesn’t have a giant logo on the front.

Posted by brandenpro on April 7, 2017

Ditch the logo on the front.  Add POE option, add SIP.  Let me know when that happens and we might take a look.  Doorbird is ok but we have had problems on a few jobs with WiFi.  And purchasing is somewhat problematic.

Posted by TheDarkKnight on April 7, 2017

This looks exactly like the Ring Pro - size, price, 2 wires, 3 color options, drillbit in the box, etc.

Posted by mark at combitech on April 7, 2017

happy with the doorbird, no issues but agreed the wifi set up isnt ideal. No problems purchasing either…..tons of options. I do like the edge recording and yes thumbs down on the big logo. Nice looking and decent bezel options.

Posted by PHAND on April 7, 2017

Teleport from Logenex also does ONVIF and works great with NVRs, but does not do Wifi.

Posted by iKnowTech on April 8, 2017

I would definitely say there are lots of other video intercom systems that support ONVIF, including Axis, 2N, Mobotix, Holovision, Siedel,  to name just a few.  Also while ONVIF may make this device compatible with lots of NVR devices, ONVIF does little to make the device compatible with Automation systems, beyond just viewing the video feed?    Is there an API/SDK available for this?

Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t see any mention or obvious location for a speaker on this unit, maybe its on the bottom?  There is also no mention of how one would communicate with the person at the door, is it a proprietary mobile app?  If its via a proprietary app, how is the connection to a mobile device made, is Clare Controls running their own proxy/relay infrastructure in the cloud?  Is managing a Cloud infrastructure an area Clare Controls has any experience with?

As others have mentioned without SIP, this pretty much excludes this from being a consideration in any type of high end custom installation.

That said at $249, this device is nowhere near the price point of those types of higher end systems. 

Coming out of the gate saying this is the “Best Wi-Fi doorbell on the Planet” is a pretty bold statement, I would expect a lot more details on how this works to back that statement up.  If you ask me, at this price point, and what information you have shared, this is definitely seems more in the DIY category with Ring, the late Skybell, and August I would say, than something that would be taken very seriously in the custom integrators realm.

Posted by JeremyA on April 8, 2017

Hey guys!  We this product bridges the gap between the DIY products and the higher end systems.  See the answers to your questions below.  Hope this helps!

Q:  Is there an API/SDK available for this?
A:  Yes, it will be available in May.

Q:  Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t see any mention or obvious location for a speaker on this unit, maybe its on the bottom? 
A:  Yes, the speaker is on the bottom.

Q:  There is also no mention of how one would communicate with the person at the door, is it a proprietary mobile app? 
A:  Yes, we provide a free proprietary app.

Q:  Is managing a Cloud infrastructure an area Clare Controls has any experience with?
A:  Yes…We are a software company.

Q:  Does the communication integrate with third-party control systems?
A:  Yes, the API will be available in May.

Q:  Does it support SIP?
A:  It does not support SIP.

Features:
No monthly fees!
1080p Resolution
Upgradeable storage
Works will all doorbells(analog & digital)
Rings the doorbell
Works with NVR’s
Open API (available in May)

Posted by Julie Jacobson on April 8, 2017

Thanks, Jeremy—And more:

What kind of data can be shared from the product to third-party systems via API? Button presses? Sensor data? (use as PIR for front door?).

If you’re not SIP, is there a way to support two-way communications through third-party systems?

Can you be more specific about what this product can accomplish over 2 wires that competitors can’t? They all claim to work over existing 2 wires.

thx

View all comments.

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