The History & Future of Garage Door Openers & Access Control Technology

Modus Operandi - Mode of Operation

The basic mechanics of the electric powered, automatic garage door opener haven't changed much since it was invented by C.G. Johnson in 1926. But, the modus operandi, or way we operate the automatic garage door opener, continues to evolve with advancements in technology. This article briefly explores the history of the garage door opener. Or more specifically, door access control and the most innovative products on the market today.

Very Revolutionary

The gas-powered automobile movement began to replace horse drawn carriages at the turn of the 19th century but inefficient production made ownership impractical for most average people. Only the rich could afford the luxury of owning a horseless carriage. The transportation paradigm didn't fully shift until Henry Ford's vision of BUILDING A "MOTORCAR FOR THE GREAT MULTITUDE" came to fruition with the moving automotive assembly line and mass production of the Model T. THE MODEL T revolutionized transportation (and modern life as we know it) with personal transportation that was affordable to the American middle class. Production of the Model T peaked at more than two million manufactured in 1923, and as it became less of a status symbol and more the norm to own a car; the garage door industry was born of necessity.

The word garage comes from the French word "Garer," which literally means to shelter or cover. Because many of the first cars didn't have rooftops, millions of new car owners needed a structure designed to shelter or cover their vehicle from the elements. While barns and carriage houses functioned as primitive garages, early car owners desired to improve this concept with added convenience, security and technology. Most of all, consumers needed an easier way to raise and lower such a heavy door.

Some Things Never Change

The earliest garage door openers were controlled by wired devices, not unlike like those still in use today. A keypad outside the door or a switch inside the garage were typical set-ups. However, it was only a matter of time before consumers demanded a way to control the door without having to exit the car. The wireless technology utilizing radio signal communications between a transmitter and receiver to control the garage door opener wasn't adopted until after WWII, where the same type of system was used to remotely detonate bombs. However, homeowners experienced an issue with these early radio controls. The problem being due to the shared radio frequency of the garage door remotes, not only could they open their own garage door- they could also open their neighbors garage door too! Not a good way to improve relations with your neighbors.

Only a Phase?

The multicode DIP switch system was introduced as the solution to the radio frequency problem. It works by setting the switches on the receiver and transmitter to the same fixed code. However, the limited number of codes available renders this system particularly vulnerable to security issues. While easily programmed, clever criminals could beat this system using code grabbers, scanners or even by manually entering different codes on any transmitter to gain access to the garage. Rolling code technology phased out the multicode system with superior security capabilities. With rolling code technology, a unique code is generated every time the remote controls are activated, making it virtually impossible to hack the code. Rolling code technology has remained the standard with most automatic door opener remote controls on the market today.

The Future Is Now?

We still use wired devices, multicode and rolling code systems today. But what about the latest upgrades in garage door access control technology? Did you know you can control your garage door with your smartphone or tablet? Or that you can even use your voice to control your garage door? As fully-autonomous cars become a reality in the next few years, it won't be long before you can tell your car to open the garage door and park itself! North Shore Commercial Door wants to bring your garage into the 21st Century with the latest high-tech, access control systems and gadgets.

LiftMaster MyQ Home Bridge Kit - Enables Smartphone Control for MyQ Products

The LiftMaster MyQ Home Bridge Kit enables access control of your garage from your smartphone or Apple iPhone with the free MyQ mobile app. The MyQ APP allows homeowners to easily set up and control MyQ products, monitor and control the garage door and lighting from their mobile phone, and even sends real-time alerts about the status of the garage door and lights to your email or push notifications. It even works with Apple HomeKit and adds Siri voice control. With the MyQ Home Bridge Kit, you can control all your HomeKit devices from the Apple Home app using your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and even your Apple Watch.

Genie Aladdin Connect - Smart Device Enabled Garage Door Controller

The Genie Aladdin Connect uses your home's Wi-Fi to control access to and monitor your garage from anywhere with your Apple or Android mobile device. Just download the free Aladdin Connect mobile app to get set up and the Aladdin Connect will notify you whenever the garage door is being operated and by who. You can also remotely open the door for deliveries or repairs. You can even allow relatives or friends access without the need for a temporary password. The Aladdin Connect is compatible with most residential garage door openers, easy to install and set-up and even maintains a history report of the dates and times the door was used.

What sets the Aladdin Connect apart from other similar products is it uses a sensor attached to the door itself to monitor the position, instead of monitoring the automatic opener. So even if the door is manually operated by disengaging the door from the opener, the Aladdin Connect will alert you to any change in the position of the door. Control up to three doors with one door control module by adding an additional door position sensor to each additional door. One module and one sensor come standard with the kit and additional sensors are sold separately.

Gogogate 2 Kit -Smartphone Gate & Garage Door Opener with Wireless Sensor

The Gogogate 2 Kit is perhaps the most complete solution with the most value. With the Gogogate 2 Kit, homeowners can use their smartphone, tablet, PC or Apple device to open, close, and monitor their garage or gate. It offers a host of useful, user-friendly features including voice control with Amazon Echo, optional video monitoring and an audio/visual warning system. Each easy to install kit will control up to three different doors or gates and allows you to:

  • Remotely operate the garage door or gate
  • Know the status of the garage door or gate
  • Allow or deny guests access to the garage door or gate
  • Specify times to allow guests access to the garage door or gate
  • Receive notifications on your mobile device whenever the garage door or gate is opened, closed, or left open
  • Automatically open or close the garage door or gate