Smart Intercom System for Apartments: 36 Features to Look For

Chances are that you are looking for a new intercom system, and want to know more about the best smart intercom systems for apartments. In this blog post, we cover the top 36 features to look for in a smart intercom system. Click here if you want to see a comparison of modern apartment intercom systems. Also, you can download our guide on 34 considerations for buying a new intercom system in case you are researching modern intercom systems. 

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What Are Smart Intercom Systems

Smart intercom systems are internet-connected electronic devices that allow you to speak to the person at the front door and unlock remotely after verifying their identity through voice and/or video calling. Smart intercoms with cameras allow you to watch the visitor on an indoor monitor or on your smartphone. Video intercom systems are fast becoming the standard of security and convenience in modern apartment buildings and homes alike.

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Why Use Smart Intercom Systems

If you are still using a dumb intercom system from the twentieth century you and your building occupants are missing out on a range of extremely useful benefits that smart intercom systems provide—from video calling and entry surveillance to remote door release to preventing package theft to calling residents or tenants on their mobile phones when they are outside the building. These and other features make smart intercoms, in particular video intercoms, the standard of security and access control at modern apartment buildings.

Swiftlane‘s Video Intercom: Swiftreader

Common Attributes of Smart Intercom Systems

If you are going to invest in a smart video intercom system, make sure the system you select is actually smart and not a last-century intercom masquerading as a smart one. To be called smart, an intercom system must have the following qualities:

  • It is connected to the internet via ethernet or wireless gateway
  • It uses VoIP technology to communicate voice and video
  • SIP calling to mobile phones and landlines
  • Ability to unlock doors remotely from anywhere
  • Cloud storage of entry logs, photos and user data
  • Automatic over-the-air software updates
  • Remote system management via cloud dashboards and mobile app 
  • Can interoperate and integrate with other smart building systems such as access control, video surveillance, and tenant directory
  • Video calling. An intercom system is not truly smart unless it can stream one-way or two-way video

36 Features to Look For In Smart Video Intercom Systems

Below, we list the complete set of features that latest smart intercom systems sport.

Tenant / Resident Facing Features

Calling Features

  1. Video calling so that you can see who is at the door
  2. Voice activated Siri based door unlock
  3. Works with CarPlay and other smart car systems when you’re driving
  4. Ability to remote buzz people even when they are not in their apartments
  5. Call not only smart phones but also landlines and regular phones if needed
  6. Can call multiple numbers in the unit in parallel
  7. Touchscreen directory for visitors to search for and call residents
Swiftreader X

Access Control Features

  1. Remote door release using smartphones and regular phones
  2. Mobile, PIN code, facial recognition and card based access options for residents
  3. Hands free access using smartphone, voice or facial recognition
  4. Residents can issue Temporary PIN codes for guest access and deliveries

Technology Facing Features

  1. Mobile application and browser dashboards for managing the system and users from anywhere
  2. Automatic over-the-air software updates
  3. Easy integration with other smart building systems
  4. Ability to connect wirelessly to tenant stations and mobile phones
  5. LTE calling in case the building’s internet is down
  6. Support for SIP protocols
Swiftlane’s Admin Dashboard

Admin/Facility Facing Features

  1. Multitenant video intercom
  2. Can customize display of tenant entries, full names, initials, unit numbers
  3. Easy to retrofit older wiring in a cost effective manner
  4. Ability to operate wirelessly instead of running wires to each unit
  5. Easy to install and manage
  6. Ability to work with wired building LAN

Security Features

  1. Should store photo logs
  2. Easy to see photo logs on mobile devices
  3. Easy to create single use PINs
  4. Good data security protocols, always ask what the company is doing to secure servers and data
  5. Privacy controls to protect resident data usage
  6. Vandal resistant door stations. Ask the company if they have vandal protection insurance 
  7. Loitering detection. The system alerts security  when a person is lingering in a specified zone
Swiftlane’s Swiftreader X

Property management features in a smart intercom

  1. Can be programmed remotely from any web browser or phone
  2. Can remotely add or remove tenant entries
  3. Can automatically pull tenant data using property management systems 
  4. Easy and intuitive interface
  5. Should not require lots of technical training
  6. Over the air feature updates

Before You Invest in a Smart Intercom System

You also need to consider the pricing and evaluate the customer service of the providers you are considering. Speak to their representatives, watch a live demo of the product, and request a quote. Only after comparing prices and features can you make the right decision. We hope the above feature checklist will help you select the best smart video intercom system for your building.

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PDF: SwiftReader X Video Intercom Overview

Access a PDF overview of SwiftReader X from Swiftlane. A modern upgrade to apartment and condo building entrances. Get a complete overview of the features of Swiftlane’s Video Intercom solution.