Published: 06:00, 25 January 2021
| Updated: 09:16, 25 January 2021
Its primary function is for people to see who's at the door but doorbell video technology is proving to be much more than that, as several Kent residents have found.
From sonic booms to outrageous deliveries, it's all been caught on camera. Here we take a look at some of the more surprising examples.
The pandemic has seen a huge increase in the number of parcels delivered to our doorsteps.
But one postie's drop-off technique in September last year was more of a violent hurl than a gentle placing - and, fortunately, a doorbell cam was there to record it.
The bemused homeowner was Damien Cooke, of Margate. He was alerted to the fact someone was approaching his house by a Ring.com notification on his mobile.
He could not believe his eyes when he watched what followed, as the box was launched over his fence.
The postie launches the parcel over the gate
“It was the best throw I’ve ever seen," he said.
“He was like Geoff Capes - it must have gone about 30ft.
"The parcel had a few dents in it, but luckily nothing was broken."
Royal Mail apologised and said it would investigate, adding that the vast majority of its postmen and postwomen were dedicated to delivering mail "safely and efficiently".
While he had every right to be furious, Mr Cooke, who runs an estate agents, added: "I don't want anyone to lose their jobs, particularly in this climate.
“I found it quite funny, but my wife didn’t because it was her parcel.”
The gentle lob was also the method of choice for another delivery driver whose throw was caught on camera in 2017.
John Lucas tweeted a video of a parcel being tossed towards the front door from the other side of a gate.
He added: "Courier kindly delivering my new china coffee mugs!"
When Walderslade mum Michelle Osment was threatened with legal action over a parking fine, it was her Ring doorbell that provided her with an alibi.
In October 2019, she dropped off her children in the Silver Blades car park in Gillingham, returning hours later to pick them up.
However, she was hit with a £100 charge after she was accused of staying in the car park for almost five hours.
Fortunately, she had returned home during the hours she was said to have been in the car park, and her Ring doorbell could provide footage to prove it.
The mum-of-one, a mental health worker, said: "I had compelling evidence from my motion sensor Ring camera at my home to prove I was not there at the time."
Amazingly, the parking company, Premier Park Ltd, was still insisting she had to pay up.
It even threatened her with an increased charge of £160.
A spokesman for the firm said it had an appeals process that could be followed for any disputed charges.
Armed with the video proof, plus a receipt from a shop she had driven to during the time she was said to have been in the car park, Mrs Osment was willing to go all the way to court.
Thieves swipe two plants from a doorstep
There's no more unwelcome visitor than a thief - but they are finding themselves under greater scrutiny since the advent of the doorbell cam, with police routinely asking people to check for footage when a crime has been committed in the area.
So when thieves targeted homes on the Hoo Peninsula in July last year, swiping pot plants from doorsteps, as shocking as their brazen crime was, it was no surprise their antics were recorded.
The resulting images were shared far and wide by astonished residents after the gang snatched containers from outside the front of at least six properties in one night.
It's not just people that are caught on camera, as a huge blast last month proved.
The sonic boom caused by a military jet was heard across the country, including in Kent.
Similar to a thunderclap, it is caused when an object exceeds the speed of sound.
And the footage caught on a video door bell, not in Kent but in Essex, of the one that shook the county earlier this month was shared on social media almost as quickly.