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Smart Home

Want Siri to close your MyQ garage? You'll need this $50 bridge

Available now, the MyQ Home Bridge will put Chamberlain's connected garage door opener under Siri's control.

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Chamberlain's app-enabled MyQ Garage controllers have been letting people open and close their garage doors from their phone for a couple of years already. Now, you'll be able to add Siri-powered HomeKit smarts into the mix for $50 -- MyQ's first direct connection with a voice assistant.

Those smarts come by way of the new MyQ Home Bridge. Mount one in your garage and plug it in, and it'll make your garage door into an Apple HomeKit-compatible gadget that you can open and close via Apple's Home app, or by using Siri commands. You can also ask Siri to control any MyQ-controlled smart lights.

The Chamberlain MyQ Home Bridge, available now for $50.

Chamberlain

Chamberlain tells us that it'll secure those Siri garage door controls by requiring users to unlock their iOS device using their fingerprint or passcode whenever a command is given. That extra step means that phone thieves won't also be able to access your garage, but it also undercuts a little bit of the hands-free convenience that makes voice controls so compelling.

The Bridge will work with Chamberlain or Liftmaster-branded MyQ Garage devices, including ones connected to garage door openers that aren't made by Chamberlain or Liftmaster. If you already use the MyQ internet gateway to control your garage door when you aren't at home, the Home Bridge can replace it -- it's essentially the same product, but with HomeKit support added in.

It won't be the first time that a major smart home brand has replaced one of its products with a functionally identical version that adds in HomeKit support. Ecobee and August both went down that path in recent years with HomeKit-enabled versions of their thermostats and smart locks that, aside from Siri support, were indistinguishable from the originals. That led some customers who bought in too early to cry foul -- don't be surprised if you hear similar rumblings from MyQ users who bought the internet gateway last year only to hear that they need to buy a new one this year in order to enjoy HomeKit.

Still, the addition of Siri support will be welcome news for many of MyQ's customers (especially since Garageio, one of MyQ's key competitors, has been offering Alexa voice controls for well over a year).   

One other potential grumble -- the Home Bridge alone isn't enough to control your garage door using Siri or the Home app from outside of your home network. For that, you'll still need a third-gen-or-better Apple TV, or an iPad running iOS 10 or later to act as a makeshift hub.

We'll soon test the Home Bridge out at the CNET Smart Home, where we've already spent plenty of time testing MyQ -- stay tuned for a full review.

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