Miami Living Magazine

Candace Cameron Bure

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Page 123 of 135

TECH 122 MIAMI LIVING echnology touches nearly every aspect of our lives. Many of the things we do daily and take for granted are thanks to ad- vances in computer-based technology. Yet today, nearly all homes still have nothing more than a bolt lock and door handle keeping them safe. Most of us still use a key to unlock our doors, the sa me as our grandparents. That's changing, though. Finally. Several systems are on the market to replace or evolve the old "bolt lock with a key" forward with- out requiring a lot of modifications be made to the home. Nearly all of these systems can be installed by the homeowner just as easily as the standard keyed lock can be. Often they're even easier. One option you've probably seen in your hard- ware store is the Schlage keypad lock. These have been a popular alternative to key-only locks in commercial applications for years, but are now being seen as a solution for homes as well. They in- stall in much the same way a standard bolt lock does. Other competitors to Schlage are also offer- ing similar options. These options are evolving forward, though, to include smart phones or keyfobs or both. The Schlage Connect is the next-generation of the key- pad-enabled bolt lock allowing the door to be controlled (locked, unlocked, PIN changed) from afar via a smartphone app. A similar option from Kevo allows you to use your smartphone as a "keyfob" with the app auto- matically unlocking the door when the phone gets near. Multiple phones can be used and a keyfob can also be used. Guests can download the app and be granted access for 24 hour periods as well. Automatically. Even if you're not there. As for security while you're in the house, camera systems are nothing new. They're actually getting very affordable with items like the Swann All-in- One being below $400 as a complete camera se- curity system. The next-generation of these, though, is getting interesting. A new entry on the block, if that's not too punny, is the Vivint Sky Smart Home. This offers a glimpse into what's likely to be the norm in home automation and security in a few years. The sys- tem starts with a doorbell camera that activates and records whenever movement is detected nearby. It also gives voice access and video via a smartphone or internal monitor, so even if you're not home, you can communicate with whoever is there via your phone. You can even unlock the door, if it's equipped with more components from the Vivint system, without being there. Other components include window sensors, door sensors, motion detectors, other cameras, climate control, and smoke detectors. Each of these can be added (or not) at the homeowner's wish and all are connected so that they can be controlled through a smartphone app or central control pad. The great news is that other security companies like ADT, Comcast, etc. are doing something similar as well --some without need for a wireless device or Bluetooth. The latest innovations involve facial recognition tech to allow the camera to automati- cally unlock the door when the person approaching is recognized as authorized. No remotes, no key- fobs, no smartphone, no anything. Just as many of us are getting used to the idea that we can approach our car, touch the door han- dle to have it unlock itself, and then start the car with a push of a button - all without once reaching for the key—soon, we will get used to that idea for our homes. ML T Going Keyless How home security is evolving with technology Words by Craig Agranoff

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