The Best IFTTT Workarounds For The Chamberlain MyQ Garage
The future of tech will often include the method by which processes and tasks can be automated to the point where they need little to no interaction with their human operators. One of the best services that can automate a wide array of tasks through a user-friendly interface is IFTTT (if this then that). Through a series of rules and triggers, jobs can be set to automatically run under certain conditions.
One of the more notable things possible via IFTTT is the control of IoT (Internet of things) ready devices such as Nest climate control and Phillips Hue lighting systems. The world of devices that can be integrated with IFTTT is quite expansive and many users increasingly expect that IoT devices work seamlessly with IFTTT automation.
Theoretically, a perfect smart home of the future with a network of IoT devices would ultimately be able to automate just about everything. In most cases, these devices are already designed to run certain rules baked right in, but some devices do not. One of these devices without built-in automation is the Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Opener.
What Connects With MyQ?
At present, the MyQ uses a series of devices to control a garage door with Chamberlain’s own smartphone app (available on iOs & Android). Users can open and close their garage door right from the mobile device and receive multiple alerts when certain conditions are met. For several reasons, the MyQ is only compatible with a small pool of other IoT devices and has no integration with IFTTT.
Reinforcing Positive User Experience
One of the big reasons Chamberlain has been selective with the MyQ’s design and what other services and devices it can integrate with is to ensure the product works as promised. A lot of what goes into how a consumer feels about their purchase is the experience they have with it.
While a product may work exactly as it was intended, but if some external force negatively impacts their overall experience, they may also feel negatively about the product itself. Because companies want to reduce the impacts of external factors, such as working alongside third-parties, they’ll have to take steps they feel are necessary.
Garage Door Opener Safety Considerations
The fact remains that a garage door can pose safety concerns with how it closes and opens. Regardless of the material of the door itself, garage doors are heavy and can cause bodily harm if the appropriate safety measures aren’t in place or if they are not working properly.
Motion sensors can fail and there is a potential risk of someone getting caught underneath a closing garage door. So while these motion sensors will perform their job as expected often times, there will be times where they will fail. Automation can be great, but there’s nothing quite like human problem solving and instinct to prevent unintended consequences.
MyQ Workarounds with IFTTT
With an understanding of the limitations and safety concerns regarding an automated garage door opener through IFTTT or other methods, there are still some options to explore. The options available with the MyQ will vary in difficulty, but it all depends on what you’re looking to accomplish and the effort required. Also, it helps to apply a little creativity when using IFTTT and the MyQ.
Using MyQ Alerts as an IFTTT Channel
Simply put, the way IFTTT works is through connecting a series of channels and creating rules within those channels with recipes. For example, if someone posts an image to Instagram and wants the image to be automatically posted to their Twitter account, they would use a recipe like this:
Another channel that can be connected via IFTTT is Gmail by Google. The MyQ app gives the option to have certain notifications go out and users can opt to have these notifications be sent as emails or mobile push notifications. If Gmail is connected in IFTTT, recipes can be created to run based on the content of certain emails or where they’ve been sent.
So for example, if an email notification is set to go out if a garage door is left open for more than 45 minutes, the user will receive a MyQ alert email in their inbox. Perhaps the largest downfall here is that this solution requires a Gmail account, but it’s relatively simple to try out.
This is more passive and can only be used to trigger other actions since IFTTT can’t directly interact with the MyQ to operate the garage door opener. This will require a little creativity, but it’s easiest to think of how the MyQ alerts can impact the desired action in response.
For example, let’s say you own a MyQ garage door opener and a Nest thermostat. Say you forget to turn off the A/C in your home after getting to work, you can use an IFTTT recipe with a MyQ Gmail alert to automatically turn do this for you.
IF I get a MyQ Alert in my Gmail (garage door closed for more than an hour)
THEN my Nest will automatically turn off the A/C.
Again, this will require a bit of creativity on your part, but you can essentially create rules to run through the MyQ alerts to control a whole slew of devices which integrate with IFTTT.
Using The Wink Hub & Shortcuts in IFTTT
The MyQ only integrates with a select range of other smart home products but will eventually be compatible with the Apple Homekit and Samsung’s SmartThings family of devices. For now, one of the best devices the MyQ integrates with is the Wink Hub.
A central command center, the Wink Hub and companion mobile app control a wide range of devices, including the Chamberlain MyQ garage door opener. You can either control them directly within the app, or you can create a series of shortcuts. These shortcuts are almost IFTTT recipes themselves in that the different devices can be triggered to operate when a shortcut is run. And because Wink shortcuts can be triggered via recipes in IFTTT, this opens a world of automated processes for the MyQ garage door opener.
This is somewhat complicated because of all the steps required to pull it off, but it’s easiest to think of the Wink Hub as a go-between for the MyQ and IFTTT. Keep in mind that each step in the automation must be set up correctly in order to work. And because there are more steps in the process, there’s a higher chance that one step may fail.
But, if set up properly, the Wink Hub can be a perfect solution to use IFTTT. So for example, if you had an iPhone with location services turned on and connected in IFTTT, you could use a recipe like this to automatically open your garage door when you come home:
In the above example, the Wink shortcut trigger is set to operate lights, you’d just make sure to use the appropriate shortcut which controls your MyQ garage door opener.
Future IFTTT Integrations & MyQ Automation
IFTTT can be fantastic to use with your IoT devices, but it should be noted that it’s not always a perfect solution for home automation. And for that reason, the MyQ by Chamberlain wants to ensure that their users can rely on the product without any hitches.
However, it’s likely that IFTTT will become standard as time goes on and consumers will expect more integration out of their smart devices. For the time being, there are plenty of workarounds to try out so feel free to explore these options with your MyQ garage door opener.