But the biggest change is one you won't see on the outside or even necessarily in your recordings. It's a new Wi-Fi chip that SkyBell co-founder Andrew Thomas says dramatically trims the time from when you get a notification on your phone to when you're seeing what's on the other end. Where the first model could take up to a full minute to connect, the new one promises to do that in less than five seconds.
Another issue was installing SkyBell in homes with digital doorbell chimes, which play a sound file instead of physically striking bells. Because the two devices shared the same power line, the addition of SkyBell could cause those types of doorbells to hum. Now the company includes an adapter in the box that's wired into those doorbells and makes sure the doorbell completes its cycle.
"EVERYBODY'S USING THE SAME PROTOCOLS."
The extra memory also paves the way for new features that Thomas says will come in the next few weeks and months. One of those is scheduling when the motion sensor is active, something that will allow people to turn it off when they're at home. Another includes storing any activity it picks up, so you can get a log of motion alerts, doorbell rings, and a record of when people had conversations. After that, the plan is to store footage in the cloud so that you can watch it later. That includes both conversations you've had with visitors and a way for people to record a message for you on your doorstep. That is arguably impractical in an era of text messages, but Thomas says it's better than not seeing who was at your door in the event that you couldn't launch the app in time to see them.
The new model goes on sale today in both the original silver and a new bronze color that blends in better with wood and other dark surfaces. There's no retrofit kit for people who bought the first version, though Thomas says he plans on giving first-generation buyers a discount if they're upgrading, and that the old version will continue to get bug fixes and new software updates.