Did you know you can answer your doorbell from anywhere in the world? It’s one of the many cool things you can do by remote control over the Internet. Once you look past the “coolness factor,” you’ll find that some of the latest remote control capabilities have a lot of practicality.
Many homes now have universal remotes that you can control wirelessly over Wi-Fi networks. While universal remotes are not new, you can easily program today’s units through pre-packaged settings for many of the most popular home electronics. They can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,500, and the more sophisticated ones have some comprehensive control systems for just about any entertainment system in your house. If using your mobile devices is more to your liking, you can find a variety of apps for any operating system.
In addition to entertainment systems, you can install interfaces to turn lights on and off, regulate thermostats, lock and unlock doors and do a lot of other things. Security companies and telephone/cable providers offer a number of systems, which you can combine with video systems. You’ve likely seen them advertised on TV. It’s all pretty “gee whiz” when you stop to think about it, but in today’s world, systems like these enable you to better control access to your home and your utility bills.
They can help in other ways, too.
We recently installed a new doorbell in our home that allows us to answer a ring through our cell phones – from anywhere in the world, of course. It recently came in handy, when FedEx showed up with something we had ordered to install at one of our clients the next day.
With nobody home, I was able to talk to the delivery man through the speaker in the doorbell system and arrange for him to leave the package at our home. Had we not been able to do that, we would not have been able to complete the scheduled service for our client. That incident alone made the doorbell a good investment for us.
Other applications are being tested for use with automotive vehicles. They’ll allow you to use your phone to lock and unlock doors and check the mileage on your odometer, the amount of gasoline in your tank and the date of your last oil change. You can also set off the alarm – from anywhere in the world.
All of this good stuff, however, requires two things.
First, you need to have a stable Wi-Fi network in your home. Whatever you choose to use, you’ll be adding another device to your network. If you’re adding something for your home entertainment, you want to make sure you’ll enjoy whatever you’re watching or listening to. If it has something to do with your home operations and/or security, you can’t afford a network glitch.
Second, make sure your network and your devices are secure. If you don’t have strong access security for your network or lose your device, someone could unlock your door and get into your home. That point needs no elaboration.
We’re more than happy to answer questions or help you set up remote devices and universal remote control systems. Just give us a call – 973-433-6676 – or shoot us an email.
This article was published in Technology Update, the monthly newsletter from Sterling Rose LLC.