Amazon Echo has long been able to control garage doors, but so what? The vast majority of the time you're opening or closing your garage, it's when you're in the driveway or the garage. Now, finally, Apple HomeKit is making garage door control from your phone a possibility.
The device that makes it all possible is the Chamberlain Smart Garage Hub, currently on display at CES 2017. The pricing hasn't been finalized, but the hub will connect Chamberlain MyQ products -- like garage door openers and lights -- to the Home app and Siri.
Like most other garage door openers, Chamberlain's MyQ can:
But the new integration with HomeKit -- facilitated by the Smart Garage Hub -- adds an extra dimension. You'll soon be able to:
I'm a little disappointed that, unless you buy the forthcoming second-generation MyQ garage door controller, it seems Chamberlain will require users to buy this separate hub to connect with HomeKit. But this is a step in the right direction, especially for Apple's platform.
Each incremental step forward means scenes in the Home app become more comprehensive, and thus more useful. For instance, with this new integration, users will be able to issue a single command to Siri that shuts off lights, locks doors and closes the garage. That's a really helpful command when you're heading to bed and don't want to take a lap around the house.
As commands for cameras expand, and further security options integrate with HomeKit, a similar "Goodnight" command could become even more powerful.
Chamberlain plans to release the Smart Garage Hub by July 2017.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the second generation MyQ garage door opener would also require the bridge for HomeKit access.