Smart Home

Open-Me gives you 24-hour garage door access from anywhere

The Premise. Homeowners constantly have to ask themselves questions about the state they left things in. Is the oven on? Is the front door locked? Did I close the garage door when I left? Now with a combination of some hardware and an app, that last question is a question no longer.

The Product. Open-Me is a sonar sensor that can be placed on a garage door that hooks up to a home Wi-Fi network. By checking the app, users can determine if their garage door is open by even as little as a foot, and open or close it remotely. Additionally, using GPS, the app can be adjusted to open automatically when the synced phone or tablet is within a user-determined distance, and close automatically once that device travels outside of that range.

The Pitch. In a rather light and humorous video, Open-Me focuses mainly on the peace of mind aspects of the app, whether it’s making sure that the home is closed up securely or being able to let children or maintenance workers in without having to personally head home. The preorder site is very clean and contains all the pertinent data anybody could need before making a decision to pledge money. The project wants to raise around $50,000 to incorporate, create an iOS version, and begin producing the hardware.

The Perks. The Open-Me app can be pre-ordered for $79 and expected to release some time In the Fall of this year. For those that don’t want to wait, a beta version is available for $499, and at the highest $999 tier, among the many perks and the beta device comes a lifetime free service guarantee.

The Potential. For local usage, there isn’t a lot that this device does that a regular garage door opener, particularly one with a keypad panel, doesn’t do already and Internet-connected openers have been shown for some time. However, there’s something to be said about having a garage door that opens upon arrival providing a kind of welcoming feel as well as knowing when it’s partially open. Additionally, being able to open and close a garage door remotely has its uses, as demonstrated by the product video. Some might find it handy to save a couple seconds. Motorcycle owners like the product’s inventor will certainly enjoy the added convenience. Others probably won’t worry about it. There have already been a few attempts (like lift) to supplant the traditional garage door opener with a smartphone, but maybe Open-Me will be the one to add enough features to catch on.


GarageSkins give your car keeper a new facade

GarageSkinsEver want to glam up your garage door, but don’t think a flag will do the trick? Try GarageSkins, panels designed to stick to your aluminum garage door to make it look like it’s made out of wood. These overlays use real wood with different finishes and designs to class up your doors. Best of all, they’re easy to install and only take about an hour to apply. A one-car garage system goes for $395 and a two-car system goes for $700 with an estimated delivery date of May 2015. GarageSkins hopes to raise $75,000 in its 45-day Indiegogo run.