How to Build a Slack Doorbell in 5 Minutes

By Bernhard Mehl
September 11, 2018
Building a Slack Doorbell

This is the original guide on how to build a Slack Doorbell—the first of its kind—in 5 minutes.

First of all, thanks to Alexandre Delivet over at eFounders for the amazing product requirement on how to build a Slack Doorbell!

It helped and made us feel like we're not alone with this problem, but rather like we're part of a community trying to hack office problems—so we went ahead and built it!

Check this out:

For businesses who share spaces with others, we know that the doorbell rings all the time for visitors, guests, service people, deliveries, clients and sometimes new interns or hires who do not have a key into the office yet.

It’s really annoying, especially if you fall into the category of people who are too lazy to bring the key or key fob to the restroom (speaking from personal experience) and instead resort to ringing the doorbell the old fashioned way!

The Problem We Were Facing

At our previous location, where we shared the space with two other companies, the volume of the doorbell speaker was turned down because the buzzing became so annoying and distracting for everyone in the space. People only heard it when they were near the front desk. The problem is that (understandably) our office manager had better things to do than wait for people to arrive at the door.

With a traditional doorbell, the office manager had to stand around the front desk to be able to hear the buzz. But with our Ring Doorbell integration, any doorbell notifications are now silently pushed to the smartphone.

The solution

Watch how it works:

When a visitor presses the doorbell, it pushes a “doorbell ringing” notification to a Slack channel. Anyone responsible and authorized for the door can be added to that channel, where they can unlock the door remotely via Kisi.

Starting a new project?

Learn everything you need in this downloadable guide.

Starting a new project?

Building a Slack Doorbell

And the best part? It’s really quick and simple—you can build it in five minutes (ok, maybe 15 minutes if you want a little fine tuning):

Hardware you need to build a Slack Doorbell:

  • iPad (we used an iPhone)
  • Wall attachment like this one (we used strong velcro tape since our building is pretty secure)
  • Power adapter (we don’t use it because we prefer to charge the iPhone every night to make sure people don’t ping you at random hours)
  • A few basic tools and screws to mount stuff on the wall (we didn't need them since we used velcro tape)

Software you will use:

1) Set up a new channel in Slack called “doorbell”:

If you don’t have Slack, you have to set it up first. To set up a channel, you can press the “+” next to channels.

2) Get the “Do Button” App from the App Store:

After creating an account, you have to add a new “recipe.” For the channel you should choose “Slack.”

3) Customize Recipe: We named it “Doorbell.”

Select the Slack Channel ('Doorbell' Channel, in this case) and the message can be as simple as “ringing the door.”

4) After creating the recipe, save it and you should see a huge “doorbell” with a Slack icon.

That’s it! Press and check your Slack channel.

Since the “Do Button” runs off of IFTTT, you’ll see a message appear in Slack.

Once you see this notification popping up on your mobile, you can unlock the door from your meeting room, from the kitchen or wherever you are in the office without missing anything.

Bernhard Mehl

Bernhard is the co-founder and CEO of Kisi. His philosophy, "security is awesome," is contagious among tech-enabled companies.