It occurred to me (while I was composing this) that the term "doorbell" is overloaded! We think of a doorbell as meaning:
- the annunciator that announces a presence at the door
- the button that a visitor presses to activate said annunciator
- the *signal* emitted by that annunciator
Anyway... my interest, here, is the "button" that starts this process.
A button would be incredibly *boring*! So, what options for "unconventional" come to mind?
I guess you could sense a presence at the door (a pressure sensitive mat outside the door; an Ir sensor; a camera; etc.).
But, that's prone to error (e.g., folks routinely "leaflet" in this neighborhood -- hang some sort of advertisement on the doorknob thinking you'll be mightily inclined to purchase "whatever" because you found an ad hanging from your doorknob :-/ ).
And, it leaves real visitors feeling exposed/vulnerable/helpless ("Where the hell is the damn button?")
So, I'm looking for an implementation that people would recognize/suspect as "the doorbell" yet still surprise them.
E.g., a door knocker that "rings" the bell as soon as it is lifted (i.e., before the visitor has a chance to let it "knock").
Or, even better, something that senses when you are *about* to grab the knocker! :> (Ir sensor?)
Or, some exotic protrusion (glass sphere, polished steel ball, tassle hanging from overhead, etc.)?
I suspect there may be some "antique" form of doorbell actuator (like the knob that visitors to The Munsters tug on) but I don't even know where to begin looking.
I think the key has to be something that visitors *suspect* as "possible candidates" and are willing to at least experiment with. Something that entices people to engage it... with relatively low risk.[I had thought of putting a COIN SLOT ("deposit 25c") but figured many visitors would be unlikely to have a quarter on their person -- nor willing to *spend* it just to get my attention! :> ]