IoT is a broad term that encompasses a lot of different kinds of devices, the only real commonality being that they’re connected to the internet. That said, most of us think of a smart home when we hear the phrase “Internet of Things.” The dream is to have everything in your home accessible and controllable from anywhere in the world at the touch of a button.
Opening your garage door using an app on your phone is about as pure as you can get in the IoT arena, and yoyoKnows has a nice tutorial on how you can do this. If you’ve ever had you garage door remote fail on you, then you know replacements can be pricey. For less than the price of a new remote, you can follow yoyoKnows’s guide and get a complete IoT garage door system up and running.
This tutorial uses a Particle Photon to control a relay for the garage door. The Photon itself will run you about $20, and the rest of the parts for a single door will probably set you back another $10. The guide walks you through exactly how to program the Photon to control your door, and how to get an app setup for it.
For an extra bit of fun, you can use IFTTT to get it working with Google Now. The same steps should work with Siri or Alexa as well — you’re just setting up a simple action (open the door) when the correct phrase is spoken. Overall, this is a great (and useful) way to get acquainted with IoT at a low cost.