We all have seen the commercials for Amazon’s product Echo. We all know that it can control your garage door. That was a great idea and all, but if you are opening your garage door in your driveway or inside your garage, then it is not really helping you. What do you do to make that easier? Isn’t there a way to close my garage door or open it wherever I am? Well now you can, Apple finally has heard your need. The Apple HomeKit is the new way to control your garage door, all from your mobile phone. It is real power at your fingertips.
This is now possible all thanks to Chamberlain and their Smart Garage Hub, a product that is currently on display at CES 2017. There is no final word on the price, but it is said that the hub will connect with the Chamberlain MyQ products. For example, your lights and garage door openers will be controllable from the app and with Siri. Like many other garage door openers, Chamberlain’s MyQ products can:
- Check your garage door’s status.
- Use other devices to trigger your garage door.
- Open and close the door remotely, through the app.
However, now with the new addition of the HomeKit, that is through the Smart Garage Hub, there are now even more features. These new features include:
- Voice operated control of your garage door and checking of your garage door status through Siri.
- The inclusion of HomeKit Scenes, that will include other products, such as the door locks as well as cameras.
- The control over Chamberlain lights with the garage door itself.
Is there a downside?
There is a small downside to all this, that you decide to buy the MyQ garage door controller, you will still have to purchase the separate hub in order to connect the two with HomeKit. While this is disappointing, this is a huge step in the right direction and is a small let down for a huge bonus. This is a great direction for Apple to move towards.
The steps all make scenes in your garage door Home app grow, which in turn makes the app more useful. A good example of this would be that you will now be able to use Siri to issue a command, such as turning off the lights, locking the garage doors, and ensuring that the door is shut. This is a great time saver, whether you are ready for bed and do not want to check everything yourself, or you are running late for work and don’t have the time to do so. It is extremely helpful and a huge time saver for the busy homeowner.
There are plans to expand the app and integrate even more security options to this innovative app with the HomeKit. A command such as, “Goodnight” would do all that we listed above with just a single phrase! The plans for the Smart Garage Hub are to have it be released in July of 2017.
MyQ, We have talked about it, but what is it?
The MyQ is the name the technology from Chamberlain that is wireless. This technology allows a homeowner to work their garage door using only their smartphone. It is closely related to the apps like GoControl, or Garageio, but the difference is that the technology is built into the garage doors from Chamberlain that are newer, which means you do not have to spend the extra money on a controller if you have a newer model.
Most of the MyQ garage door openers are not built with Wi-Fi installed, but there are a few that do have this installed. If you are one of the many that do not, then you will need to get a MyQ Internet Gateway, these often come with the garage door opener when you purchase one without built in Wi-Fi, but if you did not get one, you will need to purchase one. This will cost you around $50. The purpose of the MyQ Internet Gateway is to act as a middleman for the garage door opener and the router. Those MyQ openers that already have Wi-Fi will communicate directly with your router.
I Don’t Have a Chamberlain Garage Door Opener, Can I Still Use This?
What if you do not have a Chamberlain garage door opener, but you still would like to be able to control your garage door remotely? There is an option for that as well! You can buy a MyQ kit and it will work with many third-party garage door openers. The only catch is that your garage door will need to have the safety sensors and all of the correct programming buttons that match the opener kit. So be sure that your products match before buying. If they don’t, you can always call a garage door service technician and see about getting a new garage door opener installed.
Let’s go over what you will need to do to set up your Chamberlain garage door opener if it has MyQ built in, but Wi-Fi is not built in. Which will go over how to set up the MyQ Internet Gateway as well as how to set up your MyQ.
Start by Connecting The MyQ Internet Gateway
First you will need to get the MyQ Internet Gateway connected to the router using the ethernet, so you will need to make sure that there is an available square hole to use. It will also need to get plugged into the power outlet, so be sure to find one nearby that you can use to get it working. Now, before you decide to plug it in just to shove it away behind your desk or in a hard to reach place, be sure that you make note of what the serial number is on the back of the unit. This information will come in handy when you are completing the in-app setup process. Now you will need to connect to the gateway, to do so, plug in the power source and then plug in your included ethernet cable to the gateway, the plug in the other end of the cable to a spare port on your router. (This can be any port that is labeled 1-4 as they will all work.) The green and blue LED lights on your gateway should begin to blink for several moments then your green LED light should stay solid when the internet is connected.
Now you Need to Create Your MyQ Account
Now the next step needs to be done before you move on, and that is creating an account for MyQ through the website for Chamberlain. You start by clicking the signup button on the top right corner of the website. Then you will fill out the form entering your email address, name, country, and all the normal sign up questions that you are asked. You’ll need to read and agree to the terms that they have, and hit next. Then confirm your email as they require a confirmation to activate your account, you will just need to go to your email and click the activation link that is there. You should then be redirected to the website that you will now be able to login to and access your newly made account. You are now finished with the web part of your installation. Now you will need to set up the app for MyQ.
Now it is time to Download the App and Connect your MyQ Garage Door Opener to you MyQ Account.
Now you will need to download the MyQ app, which is available for both iOS and Android users. This will change if you have a LiftMaster garage door opener, you will instead need to download the Liftmaster MyQ app, which is also available for iOS and Android users. Both apps are connected in the same manner so this will work for either app. Once you have your app fully installed and downloaded, you will need to log in. Then you will see a large plus icon to add a device. You will click this and tap, add new place. Now you will need to enter that serial number I mentioned earlier to write down and submit it by pressing the top right submit button. You will then need to name your house location. You can use something simple like “house” or something unique and creative. Then save it with the button in the top right corner.
Then select a device that you are setting up, in this case, we are setting up the Garage Door Opener, so that will be your choice. Then go to the garage door opener unit, and locate the learn button, this will likely turn a purple or yellow color. Then hit next and press and release the learn button. It should cause the opener to blink. If it doesn’t, wait a few seconds, and try again until it does. Then the app will automatic go to the next screen to have you name your opener. You can then hit the save button when you are done.
Finally, you will be taken to a screen where your garage door should appear. From there, you can tap the illustration to allow your garage door to open remotely, and to close it. When you close your garage door it will make a beeping noise that will last around 10-15 seconds before the door will close, this is a warning to let anyone or anything blocking the door’s path to move. Your garage door is now set up to be used from your phone!