What is the right connected garage door opener to buy?

We’re trying something new on the Internet of Things podcast where we take and respond to listener questions about connected devices, standards or whatever else y’all have on your minds. As part of that, we’ll run a variation of the response here on the weekend in case others have the same question. So, let’s hit the mailbag!

Dave writes:

[blockquote person=”” attribution=””]I enjoy the Internet of Things podcast, but I’m not quite ready to jump into the deep end. I’m a cheap engineer as well, so that’s another problem. However, I’m curious if you know of a stand alone garage door monitoring solution that could grow into more sophisticated automation over time?

In a follow up email, Dave mentioned that he has two garage doors to monitor thus boosting his overall cost.

Dave, not sure how you define cheap, but you could go with the dedicated MyQ from [company]Chamberlain[/company] which will work with both Nest, HomeKit and likely other systems going forward. It’s about $129 and took me 15 minutes to install. Additional sensors cost $50. Here’s my review from a bit ago before it announced its plans to be more open.

The other option is using a stand-alone sensor. I think you could try an open-close sensor stuck on the side of your garage on the inside. Almost all hub systems will have a monitor that should work for these which could cost between $40-100 for the hub and then $30-$50 for each sensor, but then you’re possibly buying a system. ConnectSense makes some good Wi-Fi sensors, but the stand-alone Wi-Fi sensors cost about $150 for each open-close sensor.

Another option that is pretty simple and versatile is a video camera. Point an outdoor IP camera (or indoor if it’s inside I guess) at your garage door for between $50 and $200. Different cameras will work with different systems, but there are tons of options. I’d look for one with a mobile app. Setting up an alert might be tricky, and if that’s your thing you’ll want a camera with a motion sensing capability and alerts.

For the rest of the podcast, which includes the details on Google’s new physical web plans as well as an interview on when we’ll get to autonomous cars and what systems we’ll need to have in place before then, click below.

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