Creating a One-Stop Security Shop

Can you tell me about LiftMaster’s MyQ technology?

LiftMaster MyQ is proprietary technology that establishes a two-way connection between the Internet via a Wi-Fi connection or a wired Internet gateway. That allows us to control and monitor MyQ enabled devices, such as garage door openers or home lighting, from a smartphone. We developed MyQ several years ago to enable homeowners to have greater control over their lives by monitoring and controlling their garage door, and now with some additional partnerships that we have, MyQ is growing into some other areas as well, so we are really excited about the future.

How does the app work with the Nest learning thermostat?

It’s very cool technology that goes beyond the simple thermostat that’s in a house—it actually learns behaviors and helps you save energy. How Nest thermostats work with LiftMaster MyQ technology is that as you’re leaving your home and closing the garage door, you can set Nest to automatically go into “Away Mode,” which lowers or raises the temperature in your house, depending on what you want and what season it is. And then, when you come home and your garage door opens back up, it can switch back to “Home Mode.”

Basically, it allows consumers to have a little more control over their lives, and what’s interesting is that because Nest is a learning thermostat, once it starts understanding your patterns—not only your temperature usage, but your comings and goings—it can do even more for you in terms of personalization of the environment within your home. We’re extremely excited to be partnering with Nest. Nest was recently purchased by Google, so we’re excited not only about what Nest is right now, in terms of learning thermostats and smoke detectors, but also what they could become with Google’s involvement.

Why is this app important for home security in particular? How will it help homeowners feel secure and safe?

I think regardless of whether you’re using the LiftMaster MyQ app to control your garage door opener or your home lighting, or if you’re using Apple’s HomeKit when that gets developed, it’s all about having control over your environment. I think that as companies like Google and Apple enter this arena, they’re going to be delivering on what consumers want, which is a one-stop shop for home automation.

Yes, right now you can use your LiftMaster garage door opener and download the LiftMaster MyQ app and have a lot of great control over your home and your home’s number one access point, which is through your garage.

However, you might also have an app for your Whirpool washer and dryer. You might have an app for your Schlage lock. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all of those under the control of one master universal controller?

Can you discuss LiftMaster MyQ’s integration with Apple’s HomeKit?

We’re excited to be one of Apple’s initial partners in their HomeKit initiative which was announced right at the tail end of June. HomeKit is an effort to pull a variety of manufacturers—LiftMaster being one of them, as well as Mercedes Benz and a number of others, including building products companies— together to partner with Apple so consumers can control their home and achieve home automation through one app.

Do you think widespread adoption of this technology will happen in the next few years?

I do. I think the integration of a lot of manufacturers under these umbrellas, whether it is Google or Apple, is going to help with that. As far as LiftMaster goes, we’re seeing a dramatic jump in the number of our users that have embraced MyQ over the last couple of years that it has been available. Our dealers are getting more excited about it as interest in the connected home continues to rise.

Do you have any additional thoughts on the future of home integration and connectivity?

I think consumers will adopt more of this technology once it gets easier to use and they have more of that one stop “app” to control everything from a trusted source.

How do you think homeowners might feel safer or more secure with these apps?

I certainly think from LiftMaster’s standpoint, safety, security and peace of mind are really their ultimate goals not only when they buy a garage door opener from us, but also when they’re using home automation. It’s that ability to have those lights go on before you get home, or the ability to know who is coming and going to and from your house when you’re not there. And, it’s especially the ability to know that your house is closed, locked and safe and secure when you’re away. So that’s really the hallmark of LiftMaster and the hallmark of MyQ, and what we’re trying to do and deliver to our customers.

This article originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of Security Today.

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