Waleli is in discussion with potential channel partners, and plans to start marketing the product outside the Netherlands later this year. In the Netherlands, the GSM doorbell is marketed via property developers and home security specialists, since the device is often linked with electronic door systems.
“We’re starting in northern Europe first, due to the cultural openness of using wireless technology in daily life. However, we expect that interest will grow quickly throughout Europe and further across the globe, as residents become conscious of the advantages of connecting their front door to their mobile phone,” states Lawrence Masle, Head of International Business Development.
How the Waleli GSM doorbell works
The GSM Doorbell looks like any other doorbell you might find on a house. When a caller pushes the GSM Doorbell, it rings the resident’s mobile phone via the international GSM network. The visitor can talk to the resident via the small intercom panel next to the bell push. The GSM doorbell can also be linked to an electronic door release, allowing the resident to unlock the front door from the mobile phone keypad, using a secret code.
“The GSM doorbell gives people the peace of mind that comes from knowing when someone is at the door, when they are not at home,” said Siete Hamminga, founder and MD of Waleli.
“But users are finding practical everyday benefits as well. If your children come home from school unexpectedly early, for example, you can let them in without having to rush home and open the door.
“And if a courier arrives with a delivery that must be signed for, when you’re not at home, a direct voice connection with the courier enables you to give the courier detailed delivery instructions such as a different address to deliver to or another day when you will definitely be there. There’s no need to miss the delivery just because you’re not there.”
One of the regional health authorities in the Netherlands is trialling the Waleli GSM Doorbell as a way of allowing nurses to respond more quickly to calls from home patients without first having to drive to a central key-holding depot to collect a front door key. In this trial, when the nurse arrives at the patient’s front door and presses the GSM doorbell, the call is taken by the regional call centre, and the operator will be able to open the door. This approach saves important time in responding to emergency calls from house-bound patients.
When the householder is at home and doesn’t need the GSM mobile functionality, the GSM doorbell can be switched to normal doorbell mode with a single keypush.
Waleli is one of the new breed of independent high-tech companies that look for ways to apply the latest technologies in innovative products, rather than being driven by (or tied to) specific technologies.
Waleli develops and markets products under its own brand; and also works in partnership with larger organisations to help them identify new product concepts and ‘fast-track’ their development.
The company was formed in 2002, and is based in central Amsterdam. It completed its second round of financing in June 2006. Shell is a shareholder, along with venture capital groups and individuals.
Filed in: Home Controls