One day soon we’ll all be able to control things with our minds. Until then, however, the next best and most obvious choice for connecting and commanding our lives is with our computers and smartphones. Home automation has been bubbling below the surface for some time, but with Rogers just unveiling its Smart Home Monitoring (SHM) service, automation has gone from “heard of” to “here.”
SHM provides real-time security for your entire house. But unlike other home-security systems, Smart Home Monitoring lets you monitor your house remotely – from your smartphone or computer – so you always have a keen eye fixed on your precious belongings. What’s more, because the system is linked into your smartphone or computer, you can also control your home remotely, including adjusting lights, thermostats and some appliances. Welcome to the future.
It goes without saying, but your house is your most prized possession. Whether you’re an owner or a renter, your abode is more than bricks and mortar. Protecting your belongings, let alone your family, from invasion takes more than installing deadbolts these days.
Perhaps the biggest advantage here, compared to traditional home-monitoring systems, is that SHM works off of two networks: cable and wireless. This means double protection and ensures that your system is always up to date and functioning properly.
Around the Clock
Smart Home Monitoring provides 24/7 real-time monitoring with constant full-system status checks. That means your house is always protected, no matter the time of day. SHM operates out of the professionally staffed Central Monitoring Station and features two-way voice – using wireless; no phone line required.
Know It All
Advanced two-way “smart” sensors keep tabs on everything from a door or window opening to smoke and fire checks to water leaks. And unlike other monitoring systems, which rely on third parties to provide and update network support, Rogers provides its own constant cable and wireless full-system status checks across both cable and wireless networks.
Whether you’re heading out for the day, weekend or a week’s vacation, it’s a smart idea to keep an eye on your house. But rather than relying on neighbours, SHM lets you actually see your house – from wherever you are – through your smartphone or an internet-connected PC. That way, you’re always connected to your home.
It’s Your House Calling
Receive instant, customizable alerts on your mobile phone or computer if something happens at home, including a raise in carbon monoxide levels, unusually warm or cold temperatures or unexpected water leaks. The scenarios here are plentiful: gas fireplaces or other gas appliances emitting carbon monoxide unknowingly; a frozen pipe explodes and sends water everywhere because your furnace conks out.
There When You Can’t Be
You can also receive an image when your child gets home from school and other everyday events such as when the babysitter comes over or when the dog-sitter comes and goes, or just monitor things through a live video feed. You can even set the system to email you a picture whenever the front door opens, so you know exactly who’s coming and going at all times.
Home automation at the touch of a finger
Remotely accessing your home is cool, but what about when you’re actually at home? Will you have to load up the computer or play with your phone to access the system? The short answer: no. When you sign up for Smart Home Monitoring, a Rogers technician will install an in-home touchpad that not only constantly communicates with the Central Monitoring System and all the sensors in your house, but also features:
- large touch-screen colour display
- two-way voice speaker phone for instant, live access to a Rogers emergency-response agent in the case of an emergency
- quick-touch apps relating to traffic, weather and sports
- controls for lighting, small appliances and thermostat
We’ve been reading about the promises and joys of remote home automation for years. Now, the promises – control everything from heat and air conditioning to lights and appliances through your smartphone or PC – have come true with Smart Home Monitoring.
Two Places At Once
For homeowners, the appeal of remote home automation is endless. Did you forget to turn off the lights? Now you can not only check, but also turn them off. And for cottagers used to arriving to a cold, dark cottage, now you can turn on the heat and lights beforehand, so you’ll arrive to a cozy cabin.
Your Wallet Will Thank You
Save energy costs with Smart Home Monitoring, as you’ll be able to both monitor and change things like thermostats and lights. Set the system to automatically turn off all lights or turn down the heat or AC when you leave for work; likewise, the system can also work in reverse, so that you return home to a warm or cool house.
You can also disarm or turn on your monitoring system remotely. So if, say, a neighbour or relative needs to go inside your house, you can temporarily disarm the system, then arm it once they’ve left (no more having to explain how to do it and then worrying whether or not the alarm is set). Likewise, you can also check to make sure it’s armed, a useful stress-reliever when you’re hours away, at the cottage or at work.
SHM isn’t just about when you’re away and controlling things remotely. As part of the installation, SHM includes a full-colour touchpad inside your house (wherever it’s convenient for you) that lets you quickly control lighting, small appliances and heating and cooling in one convenient spot. You can also access the Central Monitoring System from this touchpad or speak live with an emergency-response agent. Oh, and there are also quick-touch apps for traffic, weather, sports and more. How cool is that!
How much is it?
Smart Home Monitoring from Rogers must be professionally installed by a Rogers technician. Once installed, customers have a range of models and prices to choose from.
Service levels include Home Basics, Home Essential and Ultimate Home. Monthly service fees start at $39.99.
Make a onetime purchase of hardware:
- Start with a basic hardware setup (Basic hardware setup = TouchPad, two door/window sensors plus motion sensor) $278.98 plus tax with a three-year contract ($928.97 without a contract)
- Add other peripherals as desired, ranging from $49.99 to $159.99 each
- Have equipment professionally installed by a Rogers technician for $99