Wyze’s new garage door opener uses a Wyze Cam v3 to keep an eye on your door

On the heels of its latest smart door-lock release, Wyze is launching a garage door controller to control access to the other way into your home. The Wyze Garage Door Controller launches today and costs $ 39.99 plus shipping. This gadget allows you to control and view your garage door from anywhere using a Wyze Cam v3 and a controller box so you can see the door while opening or closing it remotely using the Wyze app. Instead of using a touch sensor to monitor the condition of your door, as similar products do, Wyze is implementing some AI technology for its integrated camera to see your door.

A smart garage door controller is a retrofit device that connects to your existing motorized door opener so you can remotely control it via a Wi-Fi connection – like when you are out of reach of your regular clicker or car monitor button. It’s a lot like a smart door lock, but for your garage door, and it can help solve the age-old problem of panic when you can not remember if you left the garage door open (and drove all the way home to check). There are also some garage door openers with this technology built in, so there is no need for an additional controller.

The Wyze garage door controller combines a camera and a controller box that work with your existing garage door opener.
Photo: Wyze

Wyze says its device is compatible with most brands of openers, and there’s an online check you can use to see if yours is one of them. But it will not work with the most popular garage door openers from the Chamberlain Group (brands Liftmaster, Chamberlain and Craftsman), as these use Security + 2.0, the company’s proprietary communication technology. They are only compatible with Chamberlain’s $ 30 MyQ Smart Garage Control.

Unlike most other smart garage door controllers, the Wyze device does not use a touch or tilt sensor to determine if the garage door is open or closed. Instead, it relies on the camera’s AI smart to see the condition of your door.

Well, such a one. It does not appear to use machine learning on the device to determine if your garage door is open – rather, the Wyze Cam Garage Door Controller has its camera looking for a QR code. Yes, you need to paste a giant QR code on the inside of your garage door for this to work.

While this is a slightly strange solution, it is certainly an innovative solution and solves a common problem with many of the current options. Even the most reliable of sensors can give a false reading for some reason. The last thing you want to happen when you are miles away from home is to open your garage door instead of closing it. (This is something I experienced when I tested a garage door controller, which is why I always recommend that you also get a camera for visual inspection.) Whether a large QR code sticker will perform better remains to be seen.

The Wyze Cam v3 and garage door controller are sold in bundles, or you can purchase the controller separately.
Photo: Wyze

The hardware consists of two parts: a Wyze Cam v3 and the Garage Door Controller module, a small white box that attaches to the Wyze Cam using a Micro USB cable. That box then goes into your door opener to tell it when to open or close. (It just plugs in next to the existing wires so there is no need to solder.) It does not remove the functionality from your existing wall button or remote clickers.

You install the camera upside down in the attic of your garage by your door opener. It is attached to a magnetic bracket and must be near the controller module that you connect to the opener. Wyze supplies double-sided tape and magnetic brackets, so there is no need for screws or drilling, only a nearby socket in the ceiling.

Each time the door is opened or closed, the camera records a video that you can watch in the Wyze app. There is limited free storage (12 seconds in length) or unlimited if you subscribe to Wyzes Cam Plus service (from $ 1.25 per month). The camera has 1080p color night vision, and with Cam Plus you also get personal, package and vehicle registration. It is also possible to use a removable microSD card for 24/7 recording.

Recently, it emerged that Wyze had failed to tell its customers about a long-standing security issue with its first-generation Wyze Cam. This lack of transparency reinforces any concerns people may have about using connected cameras in and around their homes, especially devices that provide access to it.

The Wyze app has a number of notification options, including if your door is open or when it opens or closes. An open / close history shows you when it was serviced, and you can open or close the garage using a button in the app. You can also use the Wyze app’s Rules engine to set the door to close automatically at a specific time of day, or use geolocation to get it closed automatically when you leave home.

The Wyze Garage Door Controller can only control one door, so you will need one for each if you have multiple garage doors. It will work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control and integration into smart home routines.

Wyze sells the garage door controller in a bundle with the Wyze Cam v3, but you can also purchase a Wyze Garage Door Controller Replacement Part Kit, which does not include the Wyze Cam v3, for $ 18.99 plus shipping. The controller only works with the Wyze Cam v3 – not any of the company’s previous models.

Update: Tuesday, April 26 at 9:15: Confirmed that the Wyze Garage Door Controller is not compatible with Security + 2.0 garage opener models from Chamberlain.