If you haven't been living under a rock lately then you have probably heard the term "The Internet of Things" getting thrown around to refer to non-computer items that are getting hooked up to the Internet. Conceptually this seems great, but it made me think about what items I can and what items I would even want to connect to the internet. That's when I remembered this little thing from Liftmaster.
Liftmaster 828LM Garage Door Opener Internet Gateway
For about $30 this little box allows you to never have to turn your car around again to check if you left your garage door open. More specifically, it allows you to connect your newer Liftmaster garage door opener(s) to the Internet and then check the status of your garage door(s) from you IPhone or Android device. I had originally came across this when we first moved into our house, when I was looking up the garage door opener model that we had, but at the time Liftmaster wanted $1 a month for the service. Now they have made it free once you buy the device.
Setup is pretty easy. It plugs into your network via a built in ethernet jack and then links up to your opener(s) via Liftmaster's MyQ technology. You need to make sure that your opener is compatible, but if it is then its a simple task to set it up. I downloaded the IPhone app and it easily walked me through the setup. The most annoying part was needing to pull out a ladder to press the button on my garage door opener in order to link the two devices. Once all is setup you can now check whether your garage door(s) are open or closed from anywhere with internet access along with opening and closing them. You can also setup alerts to notify you of various states, like if your garage door has been left open at night.
Chamberlain, which is a sister brand of Liftmaster has what looks like the exact same product for that line of openers (the CIGBU) and based on the screenshots I have seen of the phone application and website it works exactly the same.
Chamberlain CIGBU MYQ Internet Gateway