Every generation of every culture prefers ‘new and improved’ over ‘old and rusty’. Commuters have replaced petrol-run cars with electric ones, schools have replaced paper assignments with e-assignments, and even the government has replaced highway cash tolls with FASTag.
What old fixture that has outgrown its use can you get rid of while planning a new development or launching a new society? Most immediately and obviously, the top redundancy is – the old-school intercom.
Whether you’re a builder, a newly formed housing society, or a registered co-op going for redevelopment, your foremost priority would be to adopt smart ways to keep unnecessary expenses at a bare minimum. At the same time, you wouldn’t want to compromise on essential amenities and live in the dark ages. Thus we urge you to reconsider the familiar ole’ intercom and compare it against the virtual or e-Intercom. After all, the smartphone revolution has only just begun and fruits of the digital loom are bountiful and free.
e-Intercom works FOR you, unlike the old-school intercom that makes YOU work for it. Find out how.
Virtual Intercom Vs Traditional Systems
- Wireless vs wired gatekeeping: Traditional intercom systems require wiring, cabling, and installation of physical devices (telephone/speaker). Virtual intercom is app-based or web-based and requires no wiring or expensive installations.
- Remote access vs physical access: Regular intercom has zero mobility, which means that if only you’re physically present in your apartment, you can be notified of a visitor. With virtual intercoms, no matter where you are, you can receive a push notification letting you know who’s at the door. If there’s no one home or if there are children home alone or elderly parents who shouldn’t have to be inconvenienced, you’d best have a virtual intercom set-up so that you can send away any unnecessary or unwanted visitors without bothering anyone, even when you’re in the office, in commute or out of town.
- Comfort vs inconvenience: Remote feature is a blessing in other scenarios too, e.g. when there’s a disabled family member who can’t be expected to keep answering the intercom, or if you’ve met with an accident or injury and are bed-ridden, or even if you’re enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon in your bed and don’t want to walk to the intercom. App-based intercoms are always handy, hence super convenient.
- Utility vs waste: Let’s accept the fact that most residents hardly use their intercom. They answer it when they already know that a friend, family member, service or delivery man is expected. Some even keep it off the hook most of the time as they don’t like being disturbed by misdials. At other times when you’re not home, a package or person is sent away without you ever being notified if the guard on duty changes and doesn’t pass on the message to the incoming guard. Missed opportunities abound with regular intercoms, but not with virtual intercoms. Your smartphone is the first and unmistakable point of contact, so nothing unnecessary comes your way and no message/visitor goes unrecorded.
- Enhanced vs basic safety: Old school intercoms are audio-only two-way communication systems with limited call storage capacity while smart intercoms have audio-visual communication capabilities with HD quality, virtual dial pads, log reports, secure multi-user interface, control desk monitoring and management, and cloud storage. This results in advanced security. Every visitor has his own virtual log with recorded personal information. For instance, if a sketchy delivery man who has behaved inappropriately in the past shows up at the gate, not only can you identify him visually but also through his log, and once a red flag is waved, he can be sent back without allowing access.
- Affordable vs costly upgrade: Even the most basic intercom phone costs at least Rs 1200 and a good quality one would cost Rs 5000 per piece, so if you do the math by multiplying that with the number of apartments, it could cost a lot even after a massive discount. For a decent PBX, you’d have to invest at least 3 lakh for a 500-unit apartment complex, including hardware, installation, and maintenance. If you want to go hi-tech, you can have wireless cloud-based video intercom systems for half the price of the hardware-based system that has affordable monthly plans, but they’d be a regular, long-term monthly expense. If you are keen on keeping it even more economical, you can opt for an app-based intercom system that needs no hardware installation or monthly charges and is absolutely free.
- The only circumstances under which e-Intercom wouldn’t work is if there’s no internet, if you’re in a meeting and cannot use the phone, if you’ve decided to ignore your smartphone and unsee all notifications/calls for whatever reasons or if it’s switched off due to no battery.
Options for housing societies
A new housing society can choose an app-based intercom since it would be a great way to remain cost-effective while being seamlessly connected.
An existing/old society without an intercom can set-up e-intercom to have complete intercom facilities at zero price.
A society with traditional intercom can get an upgrade for all your residents by hooking them up with e-Intercom so that they can avail push notifications on their smartphones, get added security and enjoy the priceless convenience of remote gatekeeping.
Why choose MyGate e-intercom
A simple, smart and meticulous gatekeeping app, MyGate provides a free feature called e-Intercom to residential societies that sign up as members.
When there’s a visitor at the gate, the security guard registers his personal information such as name, mobile number, and the apartment they intend to visit. A photograph and company information of delivery personnel is also registered on the guard’s version of the app. The member then receives a notification from the guard on the resident version of the app, at which point, the member can grant or deny access to the visitor via the app. If the member doesn’t respond to the push notification, an auto-generated IVR call goes to his registered mobile/landline number. Upon a positive response, the guard allows the visitor to enter. If at all, the member doesn’t respond to either of above communication (due to bad internet connection, switched off the phone, or any other reason), the guard uses the regular intercom as a last resort.
MyGate e-Intercom feature is free of cost and requires no additional hardware and installation except a MyGate app. Download on your Android or iPhone to register.
MyGate is India’s largest gated community management app, benefiting thousands of housing societies, developers, society facility managers, and millions of homeowners in every Indian city.