Garage-door openers become smartphone-friendly

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Oct. 14, 2011—Garage-door openers are becoming more high-tech, enabling some consumers to open their garage doors via a smartphone application.

Craftsman’s AssureLink line and LiftMaster’s MyQ line rely on a unique two-way-radio system that can activate a garage-door opener through a mobile app.

Craftsman’s AssureLink, which comes in a belt-drive model and a chain-drive model, allows consumers to download an iPhone or Android-based app to control their garage-door opener from anywhere. (When a garage door is being closed, a safety alarm alerts anyone standing near the garage.) The AssureLink app also indicates when a garage door is open and how long it’s open.

LiftMaster’s MyQ line also includes a so-called Internet Gateway, which connects to a home Internet router, to allow a consumer to control his/her garage door and up to 15 MyQ-enabled garage-door accessories from a smartphone.

Paul Accardo, who is a spokesperson for LiftMaster, says that additional MyQ-enabled garage-door openers will be introduced in 2012 and that, eventually, LiftMaster will integrate the technology into its entire line of garage-door openers.

Chamberlain Group manufactures both Craftsman and LiftMaster garage-door openers. No other garage-door manufacturer has developed similar systems, but at least one company has expressed interest in the technology.

Kevin Jones, who is director of brand management at manufacturer Overhead Door, says his company likely will incorporate the technology into its coming products if competitive models that have the technology sell well.

– K. Fanuko