I recently came across such products sold in Australia like:
How it works is that a third-party device controls the a nromal garage door opener by connecting to the built-in switch. Then the device is connected to both LAN and internet to control the garage door remotely via mobile app and voice control.
Many consumer reviews praised the simple and inexpensive upgrade of the old garage door into an intelligent one.
I even had the urge to buy it because I always wanted to use my phone to monitor and control the garage door remotely.
When I researched further, I found that big names like Chamberlain and Merlin also offer such devices, but both come with a Safety Beam, which is an infrared sensor that ensures that the garage door will not be remotely closed if there is an obstruction.
I think that makes sense, although the Australian standard only requires traditional garage door openers to come with an automatic rollback as a safety measure, it is still not clear about these smart garage doors that can be operated remotely.
It can be a risk if the garage door’s rollback function fails and the operator cannot see the obstruction to close the garage door. Even if the garage could rollback when hit something, you don’t want a 100kg garage door to be closed with a car and small children in the way. Or imagine the garage door being accidentally closed by whoever in the house using the voice control of a smart speaker, or even hackers take control by hacking the server.
This kind of cheap device without safety beam allows more people to experience the convenience of smart devices, but they do not realise the potential danger behind.
I think safety beam should be made mandatory for smart garage door openers in Australia, while banning such products with potential safety problems from being sold. I also remind people to think carefully about the possible security and safety issues when jump into smart life, not only in terms of physical safety, but also data and privacy.