Amazingly enough, virtual doormen aren't exactly new, but it seems that they're becoming entirely more ubiquitous (and accepted) in today's society. Increasingly, more and more apartment dwellers are coming home to voices in the wall rather than a physical life form, but virtual doormen can still let tenants into their room, allow deliveries to be made and keep disgruntled in-laws out. As you'd expect, these firms rely primarily on an internet connection, a webcam and a couple of microphones, and while typical services can range from "$10,000 to $70,000 for installation and $6,000 to $30,000 in annual maintenance," that still beats the $250,000 or so it would purportedly take for a small building to be staffed with full-time, on-site doormen. The next evolutionary step? Androids answering the buzz, and subsequent hacks to gain entry into any room you please.

[Via ChipChick]

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Virtual doormen becoming more ubiquitous