Wyze’s new garage door opener uses a Wyze Cam v3 to monitor your door
Hot on the heels of its latest smart door lock release, Wyze is launching a garage door controller to manage access in this other way in your home. The Wyze Garage Door Controller launches today and costs $39.99 plus shipping. This gadget allows you to control and view your garage door from anywhere using a Wyze Cam v3 and a control box, so you can see the door while you open it or close it remotely using the Wyze app. Instead of using a contact sensor to monitor your door’s status like similar products do, Wyze deploys artificial intelligence technology on its built-in camera to monitor your door.
A smart garage door controller is a retrofit device that connects to your existing motorized door opener to allow you to control it remotely via Wi-Fi, for example when you are out of range of your click button or usual car sun visor. It’s kind of like a smart door lock, but for your garage door, and it can help solve that age-old problem of panicking when you can’t remember if you left the garage door open (and driving to the house to check). There are also garage door openers with this technology built in, so no need for an additional controller.
Wyze claims that its device is compatible with most brands of door openers and that there is an online checker you can use to see if yours is one of them. But it won’t work with the most popular garage door openers made by the Chamberlain Group (Liftmaster, Chamberlain and Craftsman brands), as these use Security+ 2.0, the company’s proprietary communications technology. These are only compatible with Chamberlain’s $30 MyQ smart garage control.
Unlike most other smart garage door controllers, Wyze’s device doesn’t use a touch or tilt sensor to determine whether the garage door is open or closed. Instead, it relies on its camera’s artificial intelligence to see the status of your door.
Well, sort of. It doesn’t seem to use machine learning on the device to determine if your garage door is open. Instead, the Wyze Cam garage door controller has its camera monitoring a QR code. Yes, you have to stick a giant QR code inside your garage door for this to work.
Although this is a bit of an odd solution, it is certainly an innovative solution that solves a common problem with many current options. Even the most reliable sensors can give a false reading for one reason or another. The last thing you want to happen when you’re miles away from home is your garage door opening rather than closing it. (This is something I’ve experienced when testing a garage door controller, and is why I always recommend getting a camera for a visual check as well.) Whether a big QR code sticker will work best.
The hardware is made up of two parts: a Wyze Cam v3 and the Garage Door Controller Module, a small white box that attaches to the Wyze Cam using a micro USB cable. This box then connects to your door opener to tell it when to open or close. (It stores right next to existing wires, so there’s no need for soldering.) It doesn’t take away the functionality of your existing wall button or remote selectors.
You mount the camera upside down on your garage ceiling near your door opener. It attaches to a magnetic mount and needs to be near the controller module, which you connect to the opener. Wyze provides double-sided tape and magnetic mounts, so there’s no need for screws or drilling, just a nearby power outlet on the ceiling.
Each time the door opens or closes, the camera records video, which you can view in the Wyze app. Free storage is limited (12 seconds) or unlimited if you subscribe to Wyze’s Cam Plus service (from $1.25 per month). The camera has 1080p color night vision, and with Cam Plus you also get person, package and vehicle detection. It is also possible to use a removable microSD card for 24/7 recording.
Recently, it emerged that Wyze failed to notify customers of a long-standing security issue with its first-gen Wyze Cam. This lack of transparency amplifies concerns people might have about the use of smart cameras in and around their homes, especially the devices that allow access to them.
The Wyze app offers a number of options for notifications, including if your door is left open or when it opens or closes. An open/close history shows you when it’s been used, and you can open or close the garage with a button in the app. You can also use the rules engine in the Wyze app to set the door to automatically close at a certain time of day or use geofencing to automatically close when you leave the house.
The Wyze garage door controller can only control one door, so you’ll need one for each if you have multiple garage doors. It will work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control and integration into smart home routines.
Wyze sells the garage door controller in a bundle with the Wyze Cam v3, but you can also purchase a Wyze garage door controller spare parts kit, which does not include the Wyze Cam v3, for 18.99 $ plus shipping. The controller only works with the Wyze Cam v3 – none of the company’s previous models.
Update: Tuesday, April 26, 9:15 a.m.: Confirmation that the Wyze garage door controller is not compatible with Chamberlain’s Security+ 2.0 garage door opener models.
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