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Gadgets: Doorbell lets you see who’s there from anywhere

By: Gregg Ellman, Twitter.com/greggellman (TNS
June 16, 2015 Updated: June 16, 2015 at 11:04 am
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When the Ring Video Doorbell button is pressed, a one-way video is activated and two-way audio so you can see and talk to anyone at your entryway via a smartphone or tablet from anywhere you have Wi-Fi Internet access.

The most appealing feature, but far from the only one, is the built-in camera lens that provides 180-degrees of wide-angle view of the doorbell area.

Everything you need for the simple installation is included. It takes only a few minutes from start to finish, assuming your Wi-Fi signal is within reach.

Like most smart-home accessories there is a free app (Apple App Store or Google Play Store) with simple account setup. After installation, when the doorbell rings, the app will send you a push notification telling you that someone is at the door.

You will then see a live video recording of who is ringing the bell. You can have a conversation, too. What I really like is that you can hit the decline option if you want to ignore it and the visitor will have no idea you were even there.

As a bonus multiple users can be setup on the app letting them also know when someone is at the door.

A great feature about the doorbell is it also acts as a security camera. There is built-in motion sensor with a choice of activation settings that can be customized to record the 180-degree angle within a 30-foot range of the doorbell.

The audio/video recordings can also be saved into a Cloud storage for just $3 per month or $30 per year.

Other features coming down the pipeline for the product includes on-demand viewing as well as a personal weather station built into the doorbell bracket.

Video is recorded with a 1280×720p resolution. The unit contains an internal rechargeable 5,200 mAh battery, good for up to a year, depending on usage. A microUSB cable is included for charging

The product is certified for outdoor use and includes the proper drill bit and screwdriver for installation on wood, stucco and cement.

Ring has also announced the Ring Chime, a Wi-Fi speaker that sounds in the home when the Ring Doorbell is pressed. Available June 1 for $19.95.

www.Ring.com $199 available in finish choices of satin nickel, Venetian bronze and antique or polished brass

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The Other World Computing Thunderbolt 2 Dock is far from just another dock. It’s really an incredible accessory, which will amaze any Apple computer power-user.

Simply connect a single Thunderbolt cable from your computer to the dock and you’ll have an additional Thunderbolt port that you can connect the latest displays and get double the bandwidth for your peripherals.

With that Thunderbolt port (20 Gb/s), up to five additional Thunderbolt devices plus a display can be connected using additional Thunderbolt docks or via a daisy chain connection.

But it doesn’t end there. You also have five USB 3.0 ports (5 Gb/s), one FireWire 800, one Gigabit Ethernet, one HDMI 1.5b with 4K display support, one 3.5 mm audio input/mic and a 3.5 mm audio output/headphone port.

Three of the USB ports are on the back and two are on the side. They can be used for powering up USB accessories or charging/syncing an iPhone or iPad.

The FireWire 800 port can support a daisy-chain connection of up to 63 devices.

The dock (9.05-by-3.54-by.98-inches) is listed on the MacSales.com site to work with any Thunderbolt equipped Mac running OS X 10.9.5 or later. Windows is not supported.

The dock has a pair of LED lights; the blue one indicates the dock is powered while the green LED lights up when there is an active data connection from the computer through a Thunderbolt cable. The OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock driver installs in seconds and a DC power supply is included.

Apple fans will love the Thunderbolt 2 Dock’s appearance that is built to cosmetically match the aluminum finish of Apple products.

www.MacSales.com $249

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Contact Gregg Ellman at greggellman@mac.com. Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.

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