There are already external door-mounted cameras that stream video of visitors to users' smartphones, plus there are cameras that fit into existing door peepholes, recording shots of visitors and displaying them on an LCD screen. Peeple, however, is kind of a combination of the two. It peeks through a standard peephole, and it transmits video of what it sees to your phone.

To install Peeple, you unscrew the viewing lens from your peephole, screw in the included mounting bracket, and then reinstall the viewing lens. The Peeple device itself then goes onto the bracket, with its camera lined up with the peephole. If you still want to look directly through the peephole yourself, Peeple can be quickly removed from its mount. It can also be mounted on glass doors, using an adhesive bracket.

A sensor in the device detects door vibrations, as would occur when someone knocks. It then accesses your home Wi-Fi network, and notifies you via an app on your iOS or Android mobile device(s). That app shows you live video of who's at the door, whether you're at home or in another country. Additionally, it keeps a video record of who has been at your door, so you can see if anyone dropped by while your phone was off.

Peeple is also activated if the door opens. This not only means that it will alert you if an uninvited guest has come in, but it will tip you off if someone such as a small child has let themselves out. Power is provided by an onboard rechargeable battery, that should be good for about six months of use between charges.

In its present form, the device will require you to hide or remove your doorbell button, as Peeple won't know if anyone has pressed it. Its designers tell us that Peeple-connected accessories such as doorbells, lights and motion sensors are on their way, however.

Should you be liking the sound of Peeple, it's currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$149 will currently get you one, when and if it reaches production.