A while back, we told you about a garage door opener which would work with your iPhone. While the idea is cool, the issue is that you needed to completely replace your garage door (at a cost of about $300 plus installation) to take advantage of it. It also required an internet connection, and if you’re like me, both my Wi-Fi and 3G connection inside your garage is spotty at best. Now, there’s a device in development which will work with your existing garage door opener and allow you to trigger it with your smartphone over Bluetooth.
Developed by Joshua Gramlich and Steve Szymke, the HiQ Automation iOpener is a small box you can attach to your current garage door opener in minutes, and pairs with your smartphone via Bluetooth. The bundled iOpener app allows you to set up a 16-digit security code, ensuring nobody else can illegally gain entry to your garage. The only real disadvantage I could see of using Bluetooth instead of an IP connection is that Bluetooth normally has a range limit of about 32 feet. However, HiQ is using a Roving Networks module capable of real-world distances of 80 to 100 feet. Unlike the more expensive Sears option out there, you can’t check remotely to see if you left the door open either.
In addition to the iOpener, the team is working on a version called the 3Opener, which can operate a garage with up to three separate doors (for those of you in mansions, I suppose.) Initially, the iOpener and 3Opener are coming only to Android, but they plan on releasing an iOS version down the road too. Obviously, a version that works on the iPhone would go a long way towards more potential users.
The HiQ guys just started raising funds on Kickstarter for the production of the iOpener, and hope to raise $50k in the next two months. A pledge of $150(USD) or more will get you one of the iOpeners, while $250 or more will get you the 3Opener.