Have you ever lost your keys? Or, have you ever forgotten to take your keys with you? I’ve done that more than a few times. It’s usually when I have to get the kids somewhere and we’re running late. So, there I am, rushing around, grabbing backpacks, snacks, jackets and kids, headed out the door. I flick the door lock on the handle, slam the door while ushering the kids down the steps, and suddenly realize my keys are actually still sitting on the counter. And that’s when my kids either learn a new swear word, or my neighbours get to hear a blood-curdling scream.
There are plenty of situations where having a little more control over entry to your home would be useful. Say, one of your kids has to come home sick from school (and they don’t already have a key), or someone needs to drop by to borrow a cup of sugar, or grab your copy of the Titanic Soundtrack for a Celine Dion emergency (hey, it could happen). Wouldn’t it be great if you could lock and unlock your doors, and monitor who came and went, from virtually anywhere? Well, it is actually possible, thanks to the growing popularity and versatility of Smart Home technology. In this final installment of what I hope was an informative Smart Home System Series, I’ll let you in on what you need to know about the Home Entry Automation market.
Come On In
The Home Entry Automation segment of the Smart Home market is pretty varied, actually. You’ll find a wide range of products from which to choose, ranging from Smart door locks, to Smart doorbell cameras, and everything in between. Here are just a few highlights of the types of Home Entry Automation devices and gadgets you can add to your Smart Home System.
OKIDOKEYS Access-Pack Smartlock Starter Kit
An inexpensive yet comprehensive system, the OKIDOKEYS Access-Pack Smartlock Starter Kit doesn’t need you to replace your existing lock to install. So, you don’t need to drill or fiddle with wires, or anything. The kit features a Smart Lock, Smart Reader, and RFID smart card, wristband and keychain tags. Once installed, you can use the app on your phone, or the website, to create, share and invalidate keys with anyone you choose. You can give anyone instant access to your home, and monitor when they come and go. And, the system lets you program it six ways, including Standard Mode, Hands-free Mode, Passage Mode, Passage Mode with sound notification, Alarm Mode, and Mechanical. There’s also a built-in alarm to warn you of any unauthorized access, plus a wireless doorbell feature. I personally like the Hands-Free Mode, which unlocks the door when you (equipped with one of the tags or keyfobs) come within range of the house. That’s so great for when you arrive home with an armful of groceries and have to perform a juggling and contortion circus act to retrieve your keys from your pocket without dropping all the bags.
August Locks & Keyless Products
August also makes a well-reviewed Smart Lock, although you’ll have to be a little handy to install it. But, it allows you to use your smartphone to control who enters your house. It also has a Hands-Free Mode that allows it to sense your approach via the Bluetooth on your phone. And it works with the Apple HomeKit framework for Smart Home Systems, so you can program it to work with and communicate with your other HomeKit-enabled Smart Home devices. That’s perfect for when, say, you want to program your door to unlock and front porch lights to turn on at 6 p.m. every night.
August also offers other Home Entry Automation products, such as the August Doorbell Cam, which lets you see and speak to people at your door, even when you’re not there! It also has a motion detector so you get an alert when there is anything happening in front of your door. August also offers a Smart Keypad, so you can use numerical codes instead of keys home entry, while tracking who comes and goes in your home.
Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Controller
There is this great Herman (by the awesome Jim Unger) comic strip I saw in the newspaper the other day. In it, a guy is sitting on a couch with a remote pointed at the TV, clicking it repeatedly in a frustrated manner. He complains that the “Damn TV remote isn’t working.” IN walks his son, who points over his shoulder and says, “Dad, why is our garage door opening and closing like that?” Well, you can avoid that situation with the Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Controller. It’s an easy-to-install gadget that lets you control your garage door using an app on your smartphone. No matter where you are, you can open or close your garage door, plus it sends you notifications if you happened to have left the door open when you drove away in the morning.
Weiser Kevo Smart Lock Fob
So, what happens if you get home and your smartphone is out of battery power? Well, that’s where those RFID tags come in, or something like the Weiser Kevo Smart Lock Fob. This particular fob works with the Weiser Kevo Lock system, and gives you one-touch unlock entry to your home. No matter which Smart Home Entry system you use, it’s definitely a good idea to ensure you always have an alternate unlock option for when you’re unable to use your smartphone for whatever reason.
Do you have Smart Home Entry Automation in your house? Do you think it would be a convenient device for you and your family? Let me know in the comments section below. And don’t forget to take a look at the rest of the blogs in this Smart Home System Series. You’ll find some great information on Smart Home unifying systems such as Apple’s HomeKit, Z-Wave, Netatmo, and Nest, plus overviews of the Philips Hue Lighting System, Smart Home Security, and Air Quality Monitoring. Let me know if you think I missed something, or if there’s a Smart Home topic you’d like to learn more about.