Is there a way to relatively easily modernise an old door opening system in the office (like on the image) and make it work with IoT? Build an app to open the door (in the first place) and if possible even build an Alexa skill (not necessary).

Or maybe it would be easier to install a new system (IoT) with a new lock, etc?

Do you know any systems like this that you can recommend?

Old system

  • 4
    What does it mean to "make it work with IoT"? What are you trying to achieve.
    – hardillb
    Nov 6, 2017 at 20:53
  • Well. Build an app to open the door (in the first place) and if possible even build an alexa skill (not necessary). Nov 6, 2017 at 20:57
  • I modified my old intercom. It now can open the front door of our apartment building via Android app. So yes, it is possible! I used an ESP8266 for communication with the "cloud " (over MQTT) and an AQV252 for switching the wire to open the door.
    – arminb
    Nov 7, 2017 at 14:44

1 Answer 1


While it will be possible to cut into the wires and build a device that will publish state and trigger the solenoid that opens the door, it's probably not a good idea.

Firstly you have no idea what voltages it all works at, it could very well be mains AC power.

You then have to design a network service that securely exposes the interface for the app (assuming mobile phone). This is most likely internet facing (definitely for an Alexa Skill) so needs to be done properly to stop just anybody opening the door.

There is also the question of the audio, that will need something more powerful than a esp8266 as it will need to do audio encoding/decoding in near real time then forwarded to the app.

So yes it is all possible, but probably not worth the effort unless you really like a challenge. You would be better buying off the shelf solution. I've not looked at combined systems but something like the Ring doorbell with camera and app deals with knowing who is at the door. Then a number of companies make smart locks, e.g Yale or Abloy.

And if you are truly mad you could always sign up for Amazons new Key service that lets Amazon let their delivery drivers into your house when your not there....

  • Thanks. Really like the Ring doorbell system. What's your opinion on smart locks security? Nov 6, 2017 at 21:17
  • 2
    Again I've not looked in too much detail at any of them, it depends on your threat assessment. Also I'd never hook one up to Alexa, because all it takes is somebody shouting "Alexa, unlock the front door" through the letterbox and you might as well not have a front door.
    – hardillb
    Nov 6, 2017 at 21:21

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