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Video vs. Virtual Intercoms: What's Best For Your Property

Keeping up with the latest advancements in the residential community market is crucial for LittleBird. As a leading provider of smart technology, we understand the importance of adapting to the evolving needs of our properties. 

In today's market, one area that has garnered significant interest is smart access technology. While video intercom entry systems have emerged as a popular choice, with our Gen 3 Video Intercoms leading the way, some companies are exploring alternative options to traditional video or voice intercoms.

In this competitive niche, these companies strive to offer new and unique products, even if they may not necessarily be superior.

In this article, we’re here to break down one of these alternatives and help you decide whether a video intercom system is still right for your property. 


Understanding Virtual Intercoms

Virtual intercoms are innovative access control systems that leverage wireless technology, mobile apps, and the Internet to facilitate communication between residents and visitors. 

Unlike traditional intercom systems that rely on physical devices such as telephones or speakers, virtual intercoms provide a convenient and efficient way to manage access to properties. 

The goal is to reduce costs and waste, which some companies believe physical intercoms produce.

How are Virtual Intercoms Different from Video Intercoms?

While video intercoms and virtual intercoms serve the common purpose of enhancing access control, they differ in their underlying technology and features. 

By comparing and contrasting these systems, you can make an informed decision about which one best suits your property's needs


Communication Medium

  • Video Intercoms: Video intercoms utilize audio and video communication to establish a visual and auditory connection between residents and visitors. They typically consist of a physical device, such as a doorbell camera and an indoor monitor or a smartphone application, that enables two-way communication with live video feed.Woman on one way video intercom call
  • Virtual Intercoms: Virtual intercoms, on the other hand, rely on wireless technology, mobile apps, and the Internet for communication. They replace the need for physical devices with app-based communication, allowing residents to receive notifications, communicate with visitors, and control access solely through their smartphones or tablets.


Installation and Infrastructure

  • Video Intercoms: Video intercoms often require professional installation, including wiring and cabling for power and data transmission. The infrastructure setup can be more complex and time-consuming, especially in existing properties where retrofitting may be necessary.
  • Virtual Intercoms: Virtual intercoms offer a simpler installation process as they operate wirelessly. There is no need for physical infrastructure or complex wiring, making them more convenient to deploy in both new constructions and existing properties.


Accessibility and Convenience:

  • Video Intercoms: Video intercoms provide a visual representation of visitors, allowing residents to see and hear who is at the door. They offer the convenience of real-time video feed, enabling residents to visually identify visitors and make informed decisions about granting access.
  • Virtual Intercoms: Virtual intercoms prioritize convenience and accessibility by utilizing mobile apps and wireless technology. Residents can receive push notifications on their smartphones or tablets, allowing them to remotely communicate with visitors and control access from anywhere. This flexibility is particularly advantageous for residents who are away from their property or prefer managing access without the need for physical proximity.


Which is Better: Traditional vs Virtual Intercom Systems 

When considering whether a traditional intercom system or a virtual intercom system is better, the answer lies in a combination of both. 

While traditional intercom systems have been widely used for communication and access control, the integration of virtual features, like those provided by LittleBird, enhances their functionality and convenience.


Finding the Best of Both Worlds with LittleBird

What sets LittleBird apart is its integration of virtual intercoms with its video intercom system. By combining these technologies, LittleBird delivers the best of both worlds. 

Residents can not only enjoy the convenience of virtual intercoms but also have the added advantage of visual identification through video intercoms. This dual approach ensures optimal security and user experience, giving residents peace of mind and complete control over access to their property.

female using NFC at gate


Convenience and Mobility 

LittleBird recognizes the convenience and mobility that virtual intercoms bring to residents.

The LittleBird mobile app allows residents to manage visitors effortlessly, whether they are at home or on the go. 

  • Guest codes and QR codes: Similar to some virtual intercom systems, LittleBird offers the convenience of scanning a QR code for guest access and a virtual directory. 
  • Remote access: Residents can answer gate calls and grant entry to themselves or their guests directly from their smartphones. 

This flexibility ensures that residents have complete control over their property's access, no matter where they are.


Safety and Security of Residents 

Furthermore, LittleBird places a strong emphasis on enhanced security and access control. 

  • Guest & visitor verification: Through their virtual intercom solution, residents can verify visitors, grant or deny access remotely, and keep a record of visitor logs. This ensures that only authorized individuals are granted entry, enhancing the overall safety of the property and its residents.
  • Hardware: Another benefit of hardware over a solely-virtual platform is an added measure of security. With wireless and hardwired options for the LittleBird video intercoms, the safety of the equipment is reinforced and designed to be hack-proof. 

Intercom Icon Arm

To us, keeping resident information stored only online is a security risk that no property should be willing to take, especially when other options exist that put resident safety first.  

And for visitors without smartphones or the required tech-savviness, video intercoms are the perfect blend of intuitive and easy-to-use while still being modern. 


Final Thoughts… 

  • In the evolving landscape of access control systems, virtual intercoms have emerged as a convenient and efficient solution.
  • Video intercoms remain the right choice for any property that values residents' peace of mind.
  • LittleBird takes it a step further by providing an integrated virtual and video intercom system that encompasses the benefits of both technologies.

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