(Pocket-lint) - Automatic garage doors are dumb.
They haven't changed in decades. You click a button, and they open or close. That technology might've blown the socks off your grandparents at one point, but in a day and age when everything from window blinds to coffee pots can be made "smart" with an add-on, we expect more from our garage doors. After all, we use them every day.
Enter: Asante. It sells a garage door kit that adds some smarts to your dumb, automatic garage doors. More specifically, the kit lets you monitor and control your garage door from a mobile device, which means you can actually see it or open and close it remotely, whether from the office, on vacation across the world, or wherever.
Here's how it works.
What do you get with Asante's garage door kit?
Asante's kit is called the Garage Door Opener with Camera. It's a $199 add-on, which means you can add it to your existing automatic garage door setup. You'll actually find two devices in the box: the Asante home extender, which serves as a 5,000sq ft Wi-Fi coverage repeater as well as an intelligent bridge from your smartphone to your Asante smart home devices; and a camera sensor, which will allow you to view and control your garage door.
Now, this whole kit also works with an optional device - a battery-operated garage door sensor - that you can choose to purchase separately. With this third device, you'll get notifications alerts via SMS or email whenever your garage door is opened or closed. We think it's a nice security feature that you'll be glad you own when away from home.
How do you set up Asante's garage door kit?
Turn on Asante home extender
First, turn on the Asante home extender by plugging it in with the included power cord (make sure power LED light comes on), and then plug in the network cable from your router (a RJ45 Ethernet cable is provided). The cloud LED light should then come on (usually after one to three minutes, depending on the internet connection).
Download the Asante Smart Home app
Next, download the Asante Smart Home app from Apple's App Store or Google Play. Create an account and sign in. From there, click the overflow button and select add Home extender. Enter the MAC address on the back of the home extender in the available field and click submit. Go here to view Asante's support manual, if needed.
Note: Your smartphone needs to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your router.
Turn on garage door camera
Connect the power cord to your garage door camera. The power LED line will shine when it's on, followed by the Wi-Fi signal indicator, which shows you it is connected to the internet and that the Asante home extender has successfully acted as a bridge between your phone and all these devices. In other words, you're good to go.
Your Asante home app will then prompt you to add the garage door camera. Again, you'll need to enter the MAC address on the back of the device in the available field and click submit. However, the app should automatically do this for you on both the home extender and the garage door camera, so all you need to do is click "OK" to approve.
Install the garage door camera
Briefly unplug the garage door camera while you install it in your garage. Now, each Asante garage door kit can control up to two garage doors. Using one set of the provided wires, insert the wire tips into the green connector on the camera sensor. Connect the other side of the wires to your automatic garage door opener's wall mount button.
Finally, reconnect the garage door camera, which Asante sometimes also calls the garage door opener) to its power cord. The camera also comes with a mount so you can affix to a wall but still pan or tilt it if desired.
How can you remotely control and monitor?
The Asante Smart Home app isn't just for setup. From the app, you can see your garage - even at nighttime with night vision - and you can open or close both your garage doors. Just tap the 1 button or 2 button to control the first door or second door, respectively. And toggle the night vision switch to see better at nighttime. Easy.
The app provides access to your full Asante device list every time you open it and log in, so you can view your devices' status at a glance as well as your garage door activity. Asante also uses this app as a one-stop shop hub for its other devices and to automatically push software and firmware updates to devices.
Why should you buy Asante's garage door kit?
If you've ever been on vacation or at the office and have wondered what's going on at home, or even in your garage, with Asante's kit you can actually see for yourself - all from your mobile device. Better yet, you can control your garage, so you can allow a delivery man or a neighbor to gain access to your garage with a tap of a button.
The use-case scenarios are unlimited. For less than $199, you can effectively make your dumb garage doors "smart" and truly complete your smart home experience. Plus, it's super easy to set up, so if you want to gift this to grandma or grandpa or non-tech savvy people, they'll be able to get a taste of the smart home trend, too.