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updated: 1/24/2014 10:59 AM

MyQ Garage offers universal appeal for smartphone users

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  • The home page for the MyQ Garage opener that works with your smartphone.

      The home page for the MyQ Garage opener that works with your smartphone.
    COURTESY OF CHAMBERLAIN

  • MyQ Garage, which works with your smartphone, includes this Wi-Fi hub, the large device at left, and a door sensor that goes on the garage door. Together, they cost $129, and work with any brand of garage door opener made after 1993.

      MyQ Garage, which works with your smartphone, includes this Wi-Fi hub, the large device at left, and a door sensor that goes on the garage door. Together, they cost $129, and work with any brand of garage door opener made after 1993.
    COURTESY OF CHAMBERLAIN

 
 

Elmhurst-based Chamberlain's MyQ Garage focuses on safety and convenience for homeowners with smartphones.

MyQ Garage, which was introduced in November and then featured at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, is the company's first garage opener that can work with any brand of opener made after 1993.

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Why 1993? That's when federal security measures required a sensor to detect if anything is in the way of the door closing, such as a small child who could get hurt or killed. If the sensor detects something blocking the door, it stops the door from closing. That can be reassuring to homeowners so the door can close safely, said Cory Sorice, strategic business unit leader for connective products.

"You can get a push notification that tells you if the door is opening or closing and if someone is entering or leaving the garage," he said.

The technology also helps consumers in that "Oh, shoot" moment of remembering to close the garage after they've already driven away, he said.

"It also helps you to check to see if your daughter or spouse came home by checking the garage," Sorice said.

Chamberlain, which has made garage door openers for about 40 years, also has other openers that work with your smartphone. The MyQ Garage is its first product that works universally with other brands and can be installed without wires.

Consumers can use their iPhone or iPod Touch and add MyQ Garage to their Wi-Fi network without having to type the Wi-Fi password already stored on the device.

The homeowner can download a free app from the App Store, follow the set up instructions to program the garage door opener. An app also is available for Android through Google Play.

Consumers need to purchase the hub and sensor for $129 to connect to the garage door. There is no monthly subscription fee.

MyQ Garage is available at Amazon, Apple Stores, The Home Depot, Verizon and select Best Buy stores.

"Part of what we learned when we upgraded this devices is that three-quarters of the people told us they wanted to know who is coming and going, and we've listened," Sorice said.

Surfing: Comcast, which has its Midwest headquarters in Schaumburg, plans to open an Xfinity store in Schaumburg in the next month or two. Others will also open in the area soon, but a company spokesman could not provide locations yet. The stores will demonstrate products and services, which include cable TV, high-speed Internet and home phone service, as well as home security and home automation platform, Xfinity Home. Store visitors will be able to shop, sign up for and upgrade their current service on site, make payments, return and exchange equipment and access customer service assistance.

• AT&T, which has its Midwest headquarters in Hoffman Estates, said it has improved its mobile Internet coverage for Metra commuters by adding 4G LTE-capable small cell sites to 11 routes. This includes all Metra's routes except for the Northern India Commuter Transportation District South Shore Line.

• Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter. Write to her at akukec@dailyherald.com.

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