Today’s smart homes are capable of a lot of amazing things. Sure, all the basics are still available: smart thermostats that automate temperature control and smart lighting that can be programmed to turn on and off at designated times. But what about the garage door? Is it up for grabs?
Smart homes offer everything from automated irrigation to smart door locks to electronically controlled window blinds that can be programmed to raise or lower based on time of day, season, and temperature. With that much functionality, it stands to reason that you could automate your garage door as well.
Vivint Smart Home is a home automation and security provider that offers a smart controller for your garage door. It is a gadget that a lot of people don’t think about. However, install one and you might wonder how you ever lived without it.
What It Does
In terms of functionality, a smart garage door controller basically does three things. It opens your garage door, closes the door, and it alerts you when you have left the door open for a certain amount of time. This may not seem like much. But stop and think about it.
One of the things that designates an electronic device as being smart is remote access. What if you needed to open your garage door when you weren’t home? Maybe the UPS or FedEx guy is there to deliver a package. With the swipe of a finger, you can open the door. When the delivery guy has done, another swipe closes the door again.
Being alerted to the fact that you left your garage door open is pretty big, too. Believe it or not, the contents of your garage offer a plethora of information to any burglar who might be prowling the neighborhood. An open door is also an invitation to anyone who wants to walk up and snap something. Having that alert becomes a security issue.
Why You Should Add It to Your Smart Home
It is true that the smart garage door controller is a pretty basic piece of technology. But it can do a lot for you. Based on comments Vivint Smart Home customers have left on the company’s website, there are some pretty valid reasons for adding a garage door controller to your smart home system:
1. Peace of Mind
One of the more common things people say about smart garage door controllers is that they offer peace of mind. People do not have to worry about remembering to close the garage door. This doesn’t mean they are purposely being careless or not making any effort to remember. Rather, it is just that forgetting isn’t the end of the world. You are going to get that alert that reminds you to close the door with your phone.
Speaking of your phone, a garage door controller may come with its own mobile app or be easily integrated into an existing home automation system. Either way, the app is the key to getting the most out of a garage door controller. Not being able to access the door remotely would defeat the purpose for having a smart controller.
2. Child Safety
There are people who appreciate the smart garage door controller for child safety reasons. For example, one of the customers says that her granddaughter knows how to open the garage door. If she ever tries to get out of the house, grandma will know the minute the door is opened.
Here’s hoping it never comes to that. But if the granddaughter ever did try to wander away, having that alert could mean the difference between something the family laughs about and what could have been a terrible tragedy.
3. Added Convenience
Convenience is a big plus in the smart home. For example, it’s a lot more convenient to use a mobile app or a central hub to turn all the lights off at the end of the day rather than walking from room to room and doing it manually. It is more convenient to speak to your smart speaker to adjust the thermostat than having to go to the room where the thermostat is located.
No doubt that the convenience factor also applies to garage doors. Maybe you are upstairs in the master bedroom when you get an alert. Rather than having to walk down the stairs and out to the garage to close the door, you close it with a swipe of your finger.
Consumers also enjoy the convenience of being able to open the door remotely. Another customer tells the story of how her daughter had stopped by to check her house while she was away but forgot her keys. Mom opened the garage door remotely to let her daughter in that way.
Pair It with Other Smart Home Devices
One of the best features of the smart garage door controller is that it can be paired with other devices. Two that immediately come to mind are smart speakers and automotive security devices.
Pair your garage door controller with your smart speaker and you can open and close the door with voice commands. Just speak and watch. The door opens and closes on command. That is pretty helpful, especially when you have kids who might not be able to operate the door on their own.
As far as automotive security devices are concerned, there is a product called Car Guard. Other home automation providers have their own versions of this device. At any rate, one of the benefits of pairing the two is having your garage door close automatically as you pull out of the driveway. Imagine no hand-held remote control to worry about.
Smart home enthusiasts talk about things like smart thermostats and automated lighting, and with good reason. But why stop there? As long as you are building a smart home, you might just as well invest in a smart controller for your garage door.