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Tech Note: New Devices and App for Garage Door Doubt Episodes

Garage-2How many times have you been rushing to get out of your house into your vehicle, and off to work, school, church, the airport, shopping, etc.? After merging onto the freeway or mid-way to your destination, how many times has this next question smacked at you: Did I close the garage door?  For me the response is more times than I can count or care to share with you.

Over the years, these garage door doubt episodes have resulted in at least two missed flights and a few late arrivals for scheduled appointments because I felt compelled to turn-around and confirm that I wasn’t leaving my home exposed to outsiders and possible intruders. I’ve been fortunate in a few instances to have a next door neighbor confirm that the door was closed when I was unable to circle back and confirm that for myself.

I’ve had enough garage door doubt episodes that I had to force myself to slow down and walk through the motions – both physically and mentally – of closing the garage door before exiting the driveway. I soon discovered that I am not the only one who suffers from garage door doubt episodes. They often accompany very busy people. I can also cross out early stages of dementia for now. Whew~

For each time that I turned around to confirm that the garage door was open or closed, guess what? It was closed. That told me that I needed to figure out a system to minimize the reoccurrence of these episodes. With a helpful tip from a friend, I have reduced the number of garage door doubt episodes by doing the following: Before I exit the driveway, wait long enough to observe the garage door as it begins to close.  I say out loud, “I see the garage door closing. I see the garage door closing.” 

IMG_1489[1]Now, enter The Chamberlain Group [Ref 1 & 2], a company that has been making garage door openers for over 60 years, to the rescue. The firm has designed a line of connected garage door openers that comes with software and an app to fit in the ever expanding smart home and Internet of Things products. The new line is marketed under their MyQ Garage brand.

Using their smart garage door openers with the MyQ Garage controller already installed, or connecting their software to your existing garage door opener, you can now control this important entry to your home from anywhere in the world using wi-fi and a smart phone. The product works with sectional or roller garage doors, only.

From half-way around the world, you can confirm if the door is open or closed. Just in case it is open, you can resolve that problem by pressing a button on you smart phone to close it. The company also has a kit that can be fitted to existing garage door openers. Your existing garage door opener must have safety reversing sensors which can be found at the bottom of the track of the door.

There are a few other companies that sell similar products, however, MyQ Garage products have the best built-in connectivity features.

As homes get smarter with appliances, products, and other features, threats from cyber-intruders rise. James Grimmelmann reminds us in a recent article on the Volkswagen scandal in Slate Magazine, “…wherever there’s software, you’ll also find bugs, hacks, and blue screens of death.”  Along with regular updates to their software to combat potential cyber threats, The Chamberlain Group is fully aware of these issues and provide tips to their customers on how to safe-guard their home and personal property.

Now, that the dragon of garage door doubt episodes has been slain, expect happier motorists and air travelers.

Sources Cited:

  1. Making Your Garage Door Smarter, by Simon Cohen, September, 21, 2105, http://www.ozy.com/good-sht/making-your-garage-door-smarter/38720?utm_source=dd&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=09212015
  2. The Chamberlain Group, Smart-Phone Control Products, http://www.chamberlain.com/smartphone-control-products/smartphone-connectivity



About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.


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