Sometimes the benefit of a connected home isn’t introducing a completely new feature but improving an existing task to be more useful. We’re going to do that today. When we’re finished, you’ll be able to come home, open your garage door, turn on the lights, and raise the shades.
Garage door openers are useful devices—at least, they are until you get a connected home system. But once you’ve gotten used to controlling multiple devices at once with your smartphone, controlling one device with one button starts to feel old.
Today, we’re going to create an Activity that opens your garage door but also prepares your home for your pending entrance. It’s the classic example of doing two or three things for the price of one. And we’re going to use the Linear Garage Door Opener to do this.
The Linear Garage Door Opener attaches to your existing garage door motor (there’s no complicated wiring or installation) and gives you remote control of the garage door as well as the current status of the door. And since the opener uses Z-Wave, it’s a natural fit in the Staples Connect family of products, as we’ll see.
To get your home ready for you to arrive:
- Tap Activities.
- Tap New Activity, then enter a name for your Activity.
- We’re going to start this using our app, so choose “I will start my Activity with this app.”
- Now we need to choose the devices that we’ll control with this Activity. Choose the garage door opener, then choose some things you’d like to have on when you walk in. We like to turn on few lights, raise the shades, and turn the radio on (we connect it to an appliance module).
- Tap Choose, then tell each of those devices what they should do. These settings have worked well for us:
- Garage Door: Up
- Two Kitchen lights: 65%
- Living Room Shades: Up
- Radio: On
- Although we could set up an email or push notification for this Activity, we don’t need to do that. We’ll be starting our Activity ourselves, so we don’t need to be told that we started the Activity. Tap Skip to move on.
- Once you’re satisfied with everything, tap Finish.
When you pull in the driveway, open Staples Connect on your phone, find the Activity you created, and tap it. Your garage door will open and your home will get ready to welcome you.