Don’t Answer That Knock!

When redesigning my house front door, we actually went through the discussion of peephole placement. While most of my family members are tall enough for standard placement, my mother-in-law and daughter are not. I wish I had chanced upon this creatively designed “Who is out there” peephole back then! It is such a simple solution to the age-old problem of how children or adults can safely open the door by seeing who is on the other side.

Designer: Hyun-june Yang


  • A says:

    I like the resulting use capabilities of this product, but the need stems from a situation that I feel is worse than the possibility of a toddler opening a door for a stranger.
    To the designer: Ask yourself, why are toddlers alone in a locked home? Who is supervising them? If they don’t have the cognitive/physical ability to bring a step-stool (which is a very common item in the home of a young family) to see through the standard peep hole, why are they unattended in the home? A parent who locks themselves out of their home, with their toddler inside, has bigger worries than a predator convincing the child to open the door. The grim possibilities are almost innumerable.

    Add to that the relatively immense increase in production cost for the product (as opposed to the cost of the current solution) as well as the increased difficulty in implementation into existing doors and this product has already dug its own grave.

    I don’t mean to come off sounding harsh, but the amount of time wasted by us young designers on ideas that are not worth more than a few minutes of contemplation is astronomical.

    I offer these criticisms in the hope that this designer (and all designers) will use them to shift their perspective and progress their project management skills. I do hope the project proved a good learning experience for the designer.

  • mm2112 says:


    I view Yanko every day and I would say that about 75% of concepts do not touch on BASIC design thought and process.

    Why is this product needed? How would you make it? Stop and ask, is this solution BETTER?

  • mariess says:


  • Sally says:

    I also agree with the comments above, vis a vis use by a child, but think this idea might have a useful application for people in wheelchairs who need a similar facility & can’t reach for a footstool. The concealed installation is very slick & desirable, but perhaps an elegant design can be developed for a surface-mounted ‘periscope’ as a less costly alternative.

  • A says:

    Well said, Sally. That’s the kind of perspective shift I hoped to inspire. A useful rethinking of the idea that brings merit back to its design.

  • Yuri Baumann says:

    why not just drill a second hole?

  • mightymike says:

    alright, well done good job. there are some very constructive criticism going on here. It’s good btw, I’m living in UK but was grown up in south Korea. The one who designed it, his insight is perfectly right in “South Korea”. Neglecting child at home alone is not illegal, but it is apparently wrong from western point of view. My parents both worked at daytime when I was 5 or 6, also I have elder sis , 3yr older than me. Anyway, most of housing in South Korea is like UK’s tower blocks, class of people living in korean tower block is absolutely higher than plunker living in UK tower block. Most of korean houses’ door has that sort of thingy. He may have lack of global insight yet, I reckon

  • mightymike says:

    이거 디자인한 사람 SADI다니는 사람 아닌가요?
    국제 공모전에 내고 싶으면 다른 나라 문화나 정서정도는 공부하셔야 될듯 싶네요. 아이를 집에 혼자 방치해두는것은 미국이나 영국에서는 부모가 처벌받고 사회복지기관에 양육에 대한 권리가 넘어갈 수 있는 중요한 사안입니다. 의도되지 않았다 해도 3일이상에 구금에 벌금도 물수 있는 중대한 일이죠. 외국 사람들이 보면 이해되지 않을 컨섭이긴 합니다.

  • TokyoElliot says:

    I think it’s a great idea but like the above comments I too wondered why children would be at home alone.
    But of course in some countries this is unavoidable.
    A great comment about this idea proving very useful for people in wheel chairs.
    I like this idea.

  • AA says:

    Do they sell it now?

  • K says:

    I don’t think this is a matter of the child being home alone. Think about it this way. The parent is cooking in the kitchen, the child is playing near by. Someone knocks at the doors, the parent does hear it, but the child does. The peep hole allows them to see who is there, without having to open the door to check, potentially opening the door to danger. Kids do things on a whim, they don’t think about what might be on the other side. They just know someone is there, so makes sense to let them in.

  • TokyoElliot says:

    That’s a very good point K.
    It would be great if the height was adjustable. then it would fit all heights of the household.

  • WZhangID says:

    Not all doors are hollow.

  • jimmy c says:

    Everyone is offering good stuff here. @A: I agree, but in any case, time has not been wasted. I personally think this design is great for latchkey kids.

  • tryner says:

    Great design for bad parents. As stated numerous times already, I DO think that this has some possibilities in the handi-capable sector. And as for the poster who asked “why not just drill a second hole?”… it’s because that second hole would have you staring right into the outside person’s crotch. Not very useful (unless you’re into that kind of thing).

  • Seamus Dubh says:

    Beyond all the child rearing issues already stated.

    Here’s another example on designers not knowing how things are manufactured. In modern doors, unless specifically designed that way(windows), visibility through is an afterthought.
    What we have here is a hundred dollar solution to a ten dollar part.

  • Janet Yang says:

    I agree that young children should never be left home alone, but I don’t believe that it is ever unavoidable. Responsible adults do not become parents unless they can provide a safe environment for the children, which includes constant supervision.

  • Janet Yang says:

    Children are targets of kidnappers and sexual predators. For safety reasons, I always avoided revealing the presence of young children in my house. My child was not allowed to answer the door or telephone until the age of 12. It wasn’t inconvenient; after all, legitimate callers are trying to contact the adults in the house.

  • Janet Yang says:

    True–hollow-core wood doors are not secure. Hollow-core metal doors are sturdy, but then drilling into them is very difficult.

  • chrles says:

    지나가다가 우연히 보고 댓글다는건데요.. 저건 이미 미국 국제공모전에서 금상 수상한 작품입니다.. 디자인을 바라보고 이해하는 관점이야 누구나 다를 수 있지만, 피치 못해 잠시 비우게되더라도 아이가 보다 안전할 수 있기 때문에 그점만으로도 가치있다고 볼 수 있는것같습니다. 말씀하신거처럼 아이관리를 보다 중대하고 엄격하게 바라보는 외국인인만큼 상황에따라 조금이라도 안전할수 있는 장치라면 비용을 감수할 수 있겠죠. 구조도 양산에 큰 어려움이 없는거 같고 말이죵. 미국 심사위원들도 그렇게 생각했기에 금상이란 큰상을 주지않았을까 싶네요…

  • No doubt Idea is appreciable, but practically using it may not be so easy.

    Why not to put one more PeepHole at the lower height, I think this all could be avoided?

    Best regards,


  • jeannie says:

    I would agree, small children should never be left alone. And why doesn’t mom have a key to her own house?
    That said, I think there could be a market for this…a person confined to a wheelchair or even a little person might find something like this useful.

  • Greg says:

    Amen! That was exactly my first thought.

  • Jimmy C says:

    I see this design as being more for latchkey kids. Even considering it’s dangerous to leave young kids alone, this design still helps to protect them in any case.

  • Zaphod says:

    Maybe a useful design for someone in a wheelchair, however CCTV systems are cheap and easy to install.

    Regarding using this for parents who leave small children alone and don’t have keys, it is not good to encourage such irresponsibility.

    If they are that irresponsible in Korea, then it does not surprise me. They eat dogs in Korea, they are hardly the best examples to the world when it comes to morality.

  • Zaphod says:

    It is wrong, as is eating dogs.

    These basic elements of humanity seem to have been overlooked by Koreans.(Chon)

    If you object to the class of person living in the UK, then go back to Korea. Damn, for someone living in the UK, your English is so bad.

  • Mallory says:

    Because seeing the crotch of the person at the door isn’t very helpful for a child. 😛

  • leolee says:

    Two hole may be better!this solution cost too much and not necessary!

  • rollinger says:

    The door must not be hollow. Maybe you can put this on the surface of the door?

  • Ian says:

    Yep, surface could work. Otherwise it has to come with the door.

  • Adrian says:

    Jesus Christ you people are paranoid.

    There’s nothing wrong at all with leaving an older child home alone. The kids in the pictures aren’t toddlers, they’re kids tall enough that their head reaches the door handle. That’s like, a seven year old’s height.

    It’s truly sad that people think that a seven year old is too stupid to function in the absence of adults. I’m guessing you’ll all be moderating their roommate conflicts after they get their first apartments too.

  • EM says:

    Paranoid much?

  • hokki says:

    Apparantly from the cartoon, the kids grow a tail using this device. I’d stay away from it.

  • Noel says:

    For years I’ve trained my 7 year old to ask who is at the door before opening. Obviously she does not have the life experiences that adults have. When she hears a knock, she becomes impulsive and excited because she thinks it’s one of her friends or the mail man bringing us a package. (Keep in mind that she will rush for the door while we are HERE WITH HER). When I saw this device, I thought it was an excellent idea! Even without adult judgement, she would at least have the benefit of knowing if the person knocking a stranger or not.

  • TCS says:

    This is a product I’d love to have, though not for a child–I’m just very short, and there are definitely times when I’d rather not have a stranger hear my dragging out the stepstool so I can see out.

  • Grey says:

    “why not just drill a second hole?

    Not to be crass, but most of the small children I know are not adept at identifying adults by looking at their crotch.

    That said, this design has merit, from the design perspective. Functionally, it over-reaches. It seems like it would be cost prohibitive in situations where it would be most necessary (regarding the child application).

    If it is for the use in a home with a significantly shorter adult than the average, then it might be a more reasonable purchase.

    Logically, however, this design seems most apt to find success, and cost effectiveness, if it were to be implemented during the production of the doors.

    Aftermarket installation does not seem viable on a marketable scale.

    That said, excellent design. 🙂

  • lana says:

    i could not believe the ignorent racist disgusting remarks you posted there you should be ashamed of yourself i would never feel good leaving a child in YOUR presence with such narrow minded beliefs!!!first of all eating dogs is not common thing in korea and even thougt who are you to say that dogs are a better class of animals than what cows chickens pigs and should not be eaten???in other countries they would never eat a cow or pigs for the same reasons what do you have to say to that i dont hear them judjing you!!do you know how it is for parents that have to work all day to provide for them and their kids when i was 7 and up me and my 9year old brother were smart enough to be at home alone when my mother was not there dont you think they would rather be whit us but for SOME poeple working is a nessecity and didnt have everything given to them so if you obviously dont know what you are talking about dont say anything hope you will go to bed smarter tonight!

  • Tonya says:

    These are a great idea, not just for children but for people who are too short to use the normal high peep holes or people in wheelchairs. Special Note NOT all doors can have a second hole drilled in due to fire regulations so something like this is perfect. I would be interested and I know others who would also.

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