smart alarm

How to Create Your First Geo-Services Alert

Geo-Services is a really useful Alarm.com feature that enables your home to proactively take smart actions based on your location.

It does things like turn your thermostat up or down when you're on your way home, or remind you if you leave the house unsecured, using your smartphone's location to trigger proactive safeguards and other actions. 

Research: What Do Homeowners Really Want From the Smart Home?

Alarm.com recently conducted a survey to better understand consumer preferences and perspectives on the smart home.  Our survey focused on homeowners and families: what they want and need, how they prefer to get it, and how they expect the smart home to work for them. 

How to Create Your Own Alarm.com Scene

The convenient new Scenes buttons in the Alarm.com app let you control several smart home devices at once with a single command.

We've provided four Scenes to start with, each one tailored to make a specific moment of the day easier. They're easy to edit, but you can also create new Scenes from scratch for any situation. Here's how to do it.

1: Getting Started

You can create Scenes in both the desktop and mobile versions of the Alarm.com app. We're going to use the desktop version. Log into Alarm.com, click the emPower tab, then click Scenes.

You'll see four pre-set Scenes, which you can edit from this page. To create a new one, click New Scene.

2: Create a button for your Scene. 

We're going to create a 'Movie' Scene that makes things comfortable for movie viewing after the kids have gone to bed. Enter your Scene name and click the three-arrowed icon. You'll see a drop-down menu of icons to choose from, along with a choice of colors.

3: Specify what your Scene will do.  

After creating your button, you'll see a list of all your Alarm.com-powered devices below. To include a device, check the circle to the left of it, then specify what you want the device to do.

For example, we want our Movie Scene to set the security system to Arm Stay, with the front door locked.

Movies require a blanket, so we're turning the temperature down for this Scene.


Finally, we're going to have the hallway and living room lights turn off, for perfect movie ambiance.

Click Save to confirm your Scene. You'll see it with the others on the Scenes page.

4: Use your new Scene!

The next time you open your Alarm.com mobile app, your Scene will be there. Swipe left on the Scenes bar to find the new button, and tap once. On the confirmation pop-up, you can see all of the commands you specified. Tap 'Confirm'... and enjoy your Scene!

SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE

Many tasks that previously required human intervention have been made easier thanks to automated smart home technology. But what is smart home technology and what can it do for you? Guest author, Matt Powell, from Broadband Genie lists a few ways in which smart home technology will help change lives for the better in 2016.

 

Saving money, not just time

Smart home technology is all about the automation or management of your home and daily life. This could be anything from lights that can be controlled remotely or on a schedule, to connected home entertainment systems for streaming media to multiple screens, or added features to enhance your home security.
 
To some, smart home technology might seem like an appealing concept for gadget-gurus. But in reality, a big selling point of smart home technology is that it can actually save money, in addition to making life more convenient.
 
For instance, a great way to save energy and reap some monetary benefits on your bill is by utilizing a smart thermostat. Rather than simply operating from a timer or standard temperature setups, a smart thermostat has adaptive scheduling and pre-sets which are programmed to match your life and always keep your home comfortable. They can even be controlled from your phone—or even from your wrist—while you are away.
 
Smart lighting control is also a great way to save money. This can be as simple as motion sensors tied that turn off all lights in rooms that have been unoccupied for a certain amount of time, to lighting pre-sets that never turn lights on at more than 75% brightness, thus extending bulb life and using far less electricity.
 

Smarter home security

In addition to making your energy usage more efficient, smart home technology is enormously beneficial for home security. Smart lighting can activate in patterns while you are away from home, making it appear that your home is occupied. Blinds and video entertainment can also join in on the fun, giving the house and even more lived-in feel.
 
For surveillance, indoor and outdoor cameras can be viewed remotely from a smartphone for live monitoring. You can even receive alerts when movement is detected.
 
Door locks can be made smart, too. Companies like Yale, Kwikset, and Baldwin offer locks with keyless entry and integration with your smart home. They provide a greater level of access control—so you can, for instance, set a limited use entry code for visitors coming to your home when you’re not there. You can even remotely unlock your door if you need to grant access for a delivery, and lock it right back up again.
 

It’s good to talk

A key aspect of any smart home is how well it integrates with other products or systems in the home. Control4 does this better than any other home automation company because of their focus on interoperability. There’s a growing amount of very cheap DIY smart home hardware, but you’ll find that anything which lacks support for a wider ecosystem of smart home technology is going to become quickly outdated, and oftentimes is much harder to install than you’d think. Not to mention that the plug-and-play devices do not work over one platform, often requiring multiple apps and devices to use each.
 

Alarm.com and Amazon Echo

Tired of your kids and pets not listening. What if I told you that your house would listen to anything you told it to do? Pretty cool, right?

I would like to introduce you to Alarm.com’s integration with Amazon Echo. A skill can be added to Echo to give you complete control over anything that your Alarm.com alarm system controls. That means that you have control over not only your alarm system but your lights, thermostat, locks, garage door, and much, much more. You talk to Echo and address it by the name Alexa. Just say, “Alexa turn off the family room lights” and just like that, they are off. It’s that easy.

Imagine this: you are going to sleep at night and you can’t remember whether or not you locked the front door. Say “Alexa did I lock the front door?” In a second she will respond and if you forgot you can have her lock the door.

With Alarm.com you can even have Alexa execute different rules. So if every time you arm your system to stay you want the doors to lock, she can do that. If it’s night time you can even have the lights shut off with it. The possibilities are nearly endless.

These skills are not just for security though they are also for comfort. If you want Alexa to adjust the thermostat you can tell her and not have to get up off the couch while you are watching your favorite team play.

If you have any questions on Alarm.com please feel free to contact us.