2006_2_robot.jpgQuite soon you may no longer have to put up with the indignity of saying hello to a human being at the front desk of your building (if there is a front desk! our building is of a decidedly lower-class.) Why? According to the New York Sun, those flesh-and-blood humanoids that you have to tip $200 or so every year will soon be replaced with cost-effective computer systems:

Cyberdoormen - increasingly popular with the city's developers - are not the steel humanoids once imagined in science fiction movies, but a network of cameras, intercoms, card access points, and alarms linked by high-speed Internet to a remote 24-hour monitoring location...

The way the cyberdoorman system works, when visitors ring an outside buzzer, they are connected in real time video to a security guard at a facility in Hunts Point in the Bronx. The guard will call the appropriate residence and either buzz in the visitors or turn them away.

"Part of the mystique of the whole cyberdoorman thing is that nobody knows if the doorman is at the building or not, and that adds another degree of security," Mr. Barcus said.

The system also allows remote access to building lobbies for deliveries, pickups, and maintenance. Dry-cleaning or FreshDirect deliveries can be stored in a storage room in the lobby without letting unsupervised deliverymen into the building.

Goddamn it! It turns out there's still a human being involved in the system at some point! When will we finally be free of the cruel shackles of the Doormen's Union once and for all? Surely there is some way to do that, or at least move the monitoring facility to India!