Did you ever get that uneasy feeling that you forgot to close the garage door when you left home — and wondered whether someone could just walk into your house as a result? Short of calling a neighbor, there's no way to know for sure that the door is shut.
But just as smartphone apps now allow us to remotely control everything from our home's lighting to our car's climate controls, there's now an app for the forgetful types who fret over their garage-door status. Two new Craftsman AssureLink garage door openers can be controlled using a smartphone app.
Two Models, Two Apps
There are two AssureLink garage door openers: a $289.99 chain-drive model and a $329.99 belt-drive model. The belt-driven version includes a DieHard backup battery. An owner can remotely operate each door with a free iPhone or Android app, or via Craftsman's mobile Web site or regular Web site. Twelve months of remote service is included, but after that the feature costs $19.99 per year.
Both models come with an AssureLink Gateway receiver that wirelessly connects to an Internet router and has to be registered online. Once the AssureLink garage door opener is successfully connected to a Wi-Fi network and activated online, you can begin remote operation. In addition to being able to remotely open and close the door via a smartphone app or a Web site, users can turn lights on and off inside or outside the garage via a control unit that's sold separately.
Why Would You Need It?
So what's the point of having a garage door operating app — and paying $20 a year for the service after the trial period is over? Craftsman, of course, provides a few examples. Let's say you're running an errand, and an important package arrives. With the AssureLink app, you could open the garage door for the delivery person and then close it again, even though you're away. Or if you're expecting family members or guests to arrive and you're running late, you can use the app to remotely open the garage door so they can gain entry to the house (if the garage is attached to it, of course).
When the door-close command is remotely activated, the AssureLink garage door openers use audible and visual warnings to alert anyone nearby that the garage door is about to shut. If something — or someone — is in the door's path, infrared and contact sensors detect the obstruction during closing, stop the door and reverse it to a fully opened position.
While we doubt anyone will rush out to buy a Craftsman AssureLink garage door opener just so they can remotely operate it from their smartphone, it may be an option if you are already in the market for a new opener. It might also be handy if you're the forgetful type and don't have friendly neighbors who will check the door for you.