How Smart Locks and Automation Solve My First-World Problems
January 23, 2013
#1 - So my house is in need of some serious deep cleaning as I have guests coming next week. I have a cleaning crew coming to my house tomorrow while I’m at work but I don’t want to leave my house unlocked and also don’t want to give them my spare house key.
Old Solution: Major inconvenience. Before my life was infinitely improved with automation I would have either had to reschedule the cleaning for a time when I’m not at work (but they are booked for the next six weekends) OR taken time away from work to sit and babysit my house while the cleaning gets done. New Solution: Smart door locks. I can create a code just for the cleaning crew and I don’t have to worry about them using it later to break into my house. I can set the code to be valid only tomorrow and only between the hours of 10:00am and 1:00pm. It’s a little bit of a hassle to create the code and then delete it after, but very doable.
#2 – For some reason I seem to have my hands full 90% of the time when arriving home. The person who designed my house decided that having a light switch next to the front door was not necessary. My front door opens onto a landing between two flights of stairs and this landing is not overly roomy. Combine these three things and you get me falling down stairs, arms full, while trying to reach the light. So far no serious injuries have been sustained but it’s just a matter of time.
Old Solution: When I was thinking ahead I would put all my various items down outside the door before entering and use my free hands to feel my way to the light switch. Not sophisticated but prevented some falls. New Solution: Now, when I unlock my door the lights immediately come on. It solves my falling problem but oh it gets better. Now my home welcomes me with lights and my British butler Marshall (voice I found online) welcomes me home by name. When my roommate unlocks the door she is greeted with lights and the Jonas Brothers hit song “Year 3000”. Walking in my front door is now my favorite part of the day.
#3 – I don’t have kids but if I did they’d eventually become teenagers. At that point I’d want to know as much as possible about their daily and especially nightly activities. I refuse to be the oblivious parent who doesn’t know their 17 year-old is out terrorizing the neighborhood.
Old Solution: Strict curfews and harsh punishments for rule violations and hope that my kid is honest. New Solution: I can give my teenager his own special code for the door lock which means I can see a record of each time he opens the door. So now when he says “But mom, I was home by midnight I promise!” I can say, “Hmmmm the door lock told me you arrived at 1:17am.” Winner. If I really wanted to teach him a lesson I could set his code to expire at curfew every night, meaning he doesn’t make it back by curfew, he doesn’t get in. My smart locks make all my gestapo parenting dreams come true! In short, I can’t believe I lived so long without these locks in my life.