Quirky announced a variety of new products on Tuesday, designed to expand its smart-home platform's reach. Among these new products is the $90 Ascend, which will connect to your existing garage door and enable you to control it from anywhere. Quirky claims the Ascend will fit to most existing garage doors manufactured after 1993.
The functionality looks similar to that of the smart locks we've tested, such as the August . You can open and close the door from anywhere and get alerts so you can keep up with who's coming and going while you're away. You'll need either a Wink Hub or Wink Relay to use the Ascend. Those cost $80 and $300 respectively.
Compared with the $130 Chamberlain MyQ Garage, the Ascend's price looks very attractive if you've already bought into the Quirky universe. However, the MyQ doesn't require a hub to function. If you're only interested in a garage door opener, the Ascend becomes less of a bargain.
Quirky is promising a number of features that make it look attractive and well equipped to compete with MyQ. You can control the Garage via the iOS or Android app. Right now, you'll need a smartphone to operate the Ascend as desktop control is not yet available.
You can also extend access to family and friends. It'll be interoperable with all of the other Quirky products via Wink and the hub. Hopefully, that means your garage door opening can reliably trigger the heat to come on via the Norm and the lights connected to a Pivot Power Genius will turn on to make your home appealing as soon as you enter.
The HomeKit-friendly MyQ allows you to customize alerts, and already has integrated functionality with the Nest Learning Thermostat , letting you link home or away status to the state of your garage door. The MyQ even announced upcoming compatibility with the Wink Hub. Wink wants its hub to work with everything, including competing products. It's an admirable goal, but it'll give the Ascend competition even within the Wink ecosystem.
Either way, the competitive pricing and promised features make the Ascend look appealing, but it has a lot to prove to become the smart option of choice for your garage. You can preorder the Ascend now with an expected ship date of February 1, 2015.