Here's a gadget that you may never have heard of, but would probably fall into the “why didn't I think of that” category. It's an electronic replacement for the age-old peephole standard in so many front doors of houses across the world. No more do you have to plant your eye right up to that ridiculously small piece of glass to figure out who’s knocking at your front door. Instead, you press a button and see a nice flat (not a tiny fish-eye view) 1.3 megapixel color video image on a 2.5” TFT LCD screen. Definitely a nice improvement, wouldn’t you say?
I took the Brinno/Phase 3 Systems Electronic Peephole Viewer, model PHV1325 for a spin, and found a lot to like. Installation was fairly easy, although it does involve some minor surgery on your door in replacing the existing peephole viewer with the one provided, but that’s easier than it sounds. The video shows you how to do it. Once you do that, the actual LCD screen snaps on easily.
Normally the screen is off, but all you need to do is press the button to activate it and up comes your video. The screen turns off 10 seconds later. What’s really nice is that you no longer have to stick your eye up to the door, which also means it doesn’t matter who tall or short you are. Oh yes, one additionally nice security feature is that your caller doesn’t know you’re on the other side looking out, unless you make a lot of noise of course.
One minor problem is that if you have very low lighting conditions, your image quality isn’t going to be great, but that’s true even for a traditional peephole. The easy solution is to install a motion-sensitive light outside your front door. The difference between using a traditional peephole and this large flat image is stark enough.
(Disclaimer: Gizmos for Geeks received a complimentary review copy of this product.)