214 Technologies Is Crowdfunding A Smart Doorbell Called Chui

“What the heck is a smart doorbell?”

That’s what my friends asked me any time I mentioned that I’d be meeting with Nezare Chafni and Shaun Moore, co-founders of 214 Technologies. They’ve developed a product called Chui, which they describe as “the world’s most intelligent doorbell.”

Chafni and Moore brought a Chui prototype by the TechCrunch office in New York, and you can see it in action in the video above. Basically, it scans visitors’ faces, tells you who’s at your door, and can deliver a personalized, prerecorded message. You can also set up a “do not disturb” list of people you don’t want to see at all.

Obviously, there’s a bit of acting in the video, but the core demonstration, where the camera correctly identified each visitor, was real.

Chui might eventually be connected to other smart home devices, for example automatically letting people in if they’re on your friend list, or turning on your TV as soon as you arrive home.

The company is currently taking $199 preorders through a Crowdtilt-powered crowdfunding campaign, with plans to ship the device this fall.