Category Archive Sea to Sky Security Blog

Introducing Siri Shortcuts for your Sea to Sky Security System

If you’re an Sea to Sky Security and Apple user, your voice just got way more powerful.

Siri Shortcuts for Alarm.com is a new voice control integration that lets you activate Alarm.com Scenes by talking to Siri, using customizable voice ‘shortcuts’. These shortcuts integrate into your existing routines and reflect how you naturally talk, making it even easier and more intuitive to interact with your smart home.

You can activate your Siri Shortcuts for Alarm.com with any compatible device with iOS12 installed. These include your iPhone, iPad, HomePod, Apple Watch, and—in another Alarm.com first—your CarPlay-enabled vehicle dashboard, enabling you to voice-control your home from the road.

As well as setting up easy shortcuts for your Alarm.com-powered devices, you can even  blend Alarm.com Scenes with other apps in your Apple ecosystem (see below for details), making things even more convenient.

Here’s what you can do with Siri Shortcuts for Alarm.com.

1: Let Siri know it’s time for a Scene
Alarm.com Scenes let you control any or all of your smart devices – lights, garage door, locks, thermostat, or security system – with a single command.

Siri Shortcuts gives you a new way to activate Scenes with your voice alone. Just use your Alarm.com app to set up a custom Siri voice command to trigger any Alarm.com scene—you can be as creative or as natural with your commands as you like—and get talking.

You could start the day with a cheery “Hey Siri… good morning!” command to activate your Alarm.com Wake Up scene, which turns on your lights and disarms your security system.  Later on, a whispered “Hey Siri: baby’s nap time,” could activate a custom scene for your nursery that turns the lights down and switches on the smart plug for your baby’s sound machine.

2: Voice-control your home from inside or outside 

Siri Shortcuts for Alarm.com extends hands-free voice control outside your home to wherever your iPhone is. Next time you pull out of the driveway and wonder if you armed your security system, you can confirm it by triggering your Away scene with a pre-set Siri Shortcut like: “Hey Siri: secure the house!”

When you arrive home, you don’t even need to open your Alarm.com app. Just use Apple CarPlay or your iPhone to activate Siri and use your shortcut phrase to trigger your “Home” scene.

Note: As a home security precaution, Alarm.com requires your phone to be unlocked for Siri Shortcuts to activate a Scene.

3: Combine Alarm.com commands with other apps 


You can also use Apple’s Shortcuts app to create multitasking shortcuts that combine Alarm.com actions with other app commands. It’s a new way to eliminate ‘app overload’ and weave your smart home’s useful abilities closer together with the other technology you use every day.

For example, you could incorporate your “Sleep” Alarm.com scene into a “Good Night” Siri shortcut. As well as turning your lights down, locking the doors and arming the security system, you could have this shortcut set your iPhone’s morning alarm and activate its “Do Not Disturb” mode.

For the morning, you could incorporate your “Away” Alarm.com scene into a “Heading Out” Siri shortcut that not only secures your house and turns the thermostat down, but also pulls up directions to your next calendar appointment via car, walking, or even metro.

What else is new from Alarm.com? 

As the leading platform for the connected home, we’re always working to improve your Alarm.com experience with new features and enhancements.

Another Good Reason Your SECURITY System Should be at the Centre of your Smart Home

How hackers could use smart home devices to spy on you. Smart home hubs that connect all your individual smart appliances like lights, thermostats, speakers and more are not all created equal.

Your security system is installed by professionals, secure, and the best way to connect your smart home devices to each other.

Security is the Foundation of the Smart Home

To make smart decisions, you need the right information.

The same goes for the Smart Home, where connected devices act automatically based on your activity in the house. The better they can detect and make sense of your activity, the smarter their actions.

A genuinely Smart Home therefore needs a sensory system: a network of sensors to convey accurate, relevant and real-time information about what you’re doing.

Sea to Sky Security’s Smart Home solutions are built with this sensory system as the foundation. It’s the Smart Home Security system:  the one system that can provide a continuous, real-time stream of information on what’s happening all around the home.

Security Sensors Capture Activity

The security system’s door, window and motion sensors are installed around the home to detect intrusions when the system is armed and activity when the system is disarmed.  They can also trigger other devices to respond to activity in real-time.  For example, when you come home from a long day, your hands full of groceries, the lights inside your home can automatically turn on when the front door opens.

These sensors also make smart thermostats a lot smarter, helping you reduce energy waste automatically.  The first (and still the best) rule to save on heating and cooling is to keep doors and windows shut.  Thanks to the security systems door and window sensors, the thermostat can automatically turn off if a door or window has been open too long.  You’ll also get an instant alert so you can close that door.

Additionally, the security system provides better learning and optimization for thermostat schedules.  With so much more data and accurate information about activity throughout the house, your thermostat will learn faster and more accurately than any standalone device.

The connection to the security system also helps connected devices keep you safe.  For example, it enables safety functionality in smart thermostats. In the event of a fire or carbon monoxide detection, an Alarm.com system turns the thermostat off so it doesn’t blow smoke or gas into other parts of the house.

Security Status Provides Added Context

The security system also has the best information about when a home’s occupied or empty.

This is extremely useful information to the Smart Home. It can be applied to your HD video cameras for a smarter video solution, for example. When your cameras are informed by to your security system, you can pinpoint specific events that you want them to capture.  Instead of getting a video alert about everything that happens, you can specify an alert only when your son arrives home from school. Your security system knows that he disarmed the system (thanks to his user code) and captures a clip.

The arming status of the security system is a key ingredient for energy savings.  Most smart thermostats try to determine if anyone’s home based only on activity—when someone walks by the device, or makes manual adjustments to the temperature. With Alarm.com, your thermostat simply knows when you’re home or not – no guesswork necessary.  When combined with location-based automation, it’s a solution for effortless energy management.

The Smart Home Security Platform Runs the Show

As well as physical sensors and arming status, the Smart Home Security powered by Alarm.com also brings a powerful cloud platform to the home. The Alarm.com platform connects the home’s devices, processes the sensory data they provide, and supplies the intelligence they need to operate.

We see the advantages of the security platform as a rush of other platforms (and physical ‘hubs’) arrive on the market. Some have connectivity and reliability issues that cause devices not to communicate, react too slowly, or not work at all. Would-be Smart Home owners frequently end up frustrated and out of pocket (link features foul language, much of it justified).

The Smart Home Security platform, on the other hand, is already proven and engineered to ‘life safety’ standards of reliability: the standards you’d expect for a security system, not a connected toothbrush. It ensures that your devices communicate and delivers the computing power to automate them intelligently. A single app lets you control every connected device, while a corresponding app for security dealers enables efficient remote technical support.

It also expands easily into the rest of the home, integrating non-security devices such as smart thermostats with ease.

Professional Service Providers Give You Support and Safety

Unlike a connected device bought at retail store or a self-installed home automation kit, the Smart Home Security system is provided and monitored 24/7 by professional service providers.

Installation and setup are some of the biggest challenges of creating a Smart Home. We’ll help you get it up and running and we’re here 24/7 so you have someone to call if there’s an issue with connectivity.

Smart Home Security systems also come with professional monitoring. This means that if there’s an emergency at your home, a professional will respond. This is a service that standalone devices can’t provide and it greatly enhances the value of connected safety devices. While a standalone connected smoke detector will send you a text if there’s a fire – which isn’t useful if you’re on plane, or swimming, or taking a nap – a Smart Home Security system will alert trained professionals who can respond immediately.

Want to Get Connected ? Contact us today.

Location Automation: A Deeper Look at Sea to Sky Security Geo-Services

Different connected home devices – while billed as “smart” devices – don’t all deliver the same level of intelligence. Many simply work on command: you open a mobile app and send a command; the device responds. Other devices are smarter, predicting what you need based on what they have learned about you in the recent past. Some predict based on a narrow, incomplete view, while others work with other devices for a more complete picture.

The real leap to intelligence, however, happens when connected devices are integrated into a Smart Home ecosystem, via a cloud-based platform like Alarm.com. Thanks to the platform’s huge range of data inputs and information, devices can act together on patterns informed by multiple sensors picking up real-time information from both inside and outside the home.

One such source of information is your location. Geo-Services, Alarm.com’s location-based automation service, uses the real-time location of your smart phone to help you reduce energy waste automatically, keep your home more secure, and personalize your smart home experience to better serve every member of your family. This opt-in feature set is easy to turn on and off, and is included in the majority of Alarm.com packages.

Our system provider recently announced an expansion to Geo-Services with key new capabilities. Every Alarm.com user from core interactive security features to whole home automation can now use these advanced capabilities. Here’s how Geo-Services helps make your Alarm.com smart home safer, smarter and more efficient.

Note: if you ever lose your smartphone, you can disable your Alarm.com smartphone login from a desktop computer.

Safer

When Geo-Services detects that you’re leaving, it checks things around your home and sends you a reminder if something was overlooked.

You’ll get an alert if you forgot to arm the security system, or if any doors or windows were left open, so you can take action to keep things secure. You can address most things directly from your Alarm.com mobile app – arming your security system, closing your garage door, or locking your door locks for example – enabling you to secure your home from anywhere.

Smarter

Beyond reminders, Geo-Services also enables your smart home to do things automatically on your behalf.

Automating the lights in your home can provide both added safety and efficiency.  While using your app to turn lights on and off is cool, having them respond automatically to your location is truly smart and extremely convenient.  This feature helps you reduce energy waste and also enhance your home security by making your empty home look occupied – just one more way that Alarm.com helps your home anticipate your needs.

Geo-Services can also adjust your video monitoring settings based on your location, flexibly adjusting your recording settings so you have complete control.  When you’re gone, you’ll want to know if there’s activity around the home, with your our video solution sending you alerts and clips of what’s happening. When you’re home, however, Geo-Services can turn recordings off your video clip recording off for greater privacy.

More Efficient

Turning down the heating or cooling when you leave home can be a hugely effective way to save money on energy bills. However, as a device that runs in the background, your thermostat is rarely the first thing on your mind.

Geo-Services solves this problem by making automatic adjustments to your Alarm.com-powered smart thermostat, based on your location. When you leave home, you can have your smart thermostat kick down to ‘savings’ mode. Later, on your way home, it can do the opposite and turn back up to ‘comfort mode’ again. Once enabled, this ‘set it and forget it’ feature offers significant energy savings without lifting a finger or sacrificing comfort within the home.   It’s a truly great way to maximize efficiency without sacrificing comfort.

How Geo-Services Works

Geo-Services is a next-generation Smart Home feature that takes actions based on three ‘ingredients’: device automation, your smartphone’s location and a circular ‘geo-fence’ you define around a specific location like your home or office.

Smart Way to Get Smart Lighting

For smart home beginners, smart lighting is one of the easiest ways to dip a toe into the bright new world of smart home tech. An off-the-shelf smart LED lightbulb is fun to control through an app, easy to install, and can be had for less than $100.

If that’s as ‘smart’ as you ever want your home to get, it’s a good buy. But if you see yourself jumping aboard the smart home trend as it goes mainstream, buy your smart lights as part of a smart home system.

Connected seamlessly to other devices through a central platform, and installed either at the switch or with a simple plug-in module, this approach gets you more from your smart lighting. Here are four considerations that make it a smarter choice.

A versatile crime deterrent

As part of a smart home, smart lights can deter burglars by making your home look occupied when you’re not there. As well as controlling them remotely, you can set realistic schedules that mimic real life, such as having your lights come on at sunset, or at slightly randomized times. You can also take advantage of motion sensors to turn front porch lights into motion-triggered security lighting.

No more ‘app clutter’

Most off-the-shelf connected devices need their own app to control them. By consolidating your smart lights and other devices around a single platform and vendor, you get a single app for everything in the home. This unclutters your phone and makes it simple to interact with your home. When you go to bed, for example, you can turn off your smart lights, check your door locks, and arm your security system via a single screen.

Not just smart, but proactive

The other advantage of the ‘whole home’ approach is that other devices will share their intelligence with your smart lights. This enables them to do proactive, helpful things based on an understanding of what you’re doing. For example, you can have your porch lights turn on automatically when you remotely unlock your front door’s smart lock – a great feature on dark evenings when you’re loaded down with groceries.

You can choose your bulbs

Off-the-shelf smart lightbulbs are expensive because the ‘smart’ technology lives in the bulb. While great to install as special features, they’re expensive to equip your whole home with.

With our systems the special hardware typically lives in the wall switch or in newer homes at the electrical panel. Once that’s installed, your smart lights can incorporate a huge range of bulbs, from specialist LED bulbs to cheap fluorescent. That’s great value, especially when you have multiple lights controlled by the same switch.

 

Video: How Sea to Sky Security Can Automate Your Whole Home

Our Smart Home technology brings everything in your home together to make things safer, smarter and more efficient.

A single mobile app controls your security system, smart thermostat, lights, locks, video cameras, garage doors and more.  Behind the scenes, our powerful cloud platform enables devices to respond in unison to your commands and to activity around your home and beyond.

Here’s how we deliver a powerful but easy-to-use Smart Home experience:

The Thermostat that Really Learns

The new smart home alarm.com thermostat lets you save energy simply, with no guesswork, complexity or inconvenience necessary. In fact, you’ll barely notice… except when it comes to your power bill.

Fully integrated into your Smart Home Security system, it can do more than other smart thermostats. That’s because it has more information about what’s going on inside and outside your home, enabling it to take smarter actions that give you the perfect balance of energy savings and comfort.

It learns from all the triggers in your security system

While standalone thermostats use a single motion detector to ‘learn’ your ideal heating and cooling schedule, ours has access to every sensor in your security system.   Instead of guessing what’s happening based on a single room, it takes real cues from your security panel, the motion sensors throughout your house, your door and window sensors and more.

It cares about which room you’re in 

Using wireless temperature sensors, our Smart Thermostat delivers precision comfort to the rooms where you spend your time. Simply place these tiny devices around your home, and optimize your home’s temperature for comfort in specific rooms. Create a multi-sensor schedule for precision comfort throughout the day, or average your overall temperature between different sensors.

It reacts to your location in real-time

Learning isn’t everything. After all, your own schedule changes from day to day. Our smart thermostat reacts by using real-time data to adapt quickly to changes in your routine. One example is Geo-Services.  If you’re on your way home early, for example, our location automation feature will set the thermostat forward out of ‘savings mode’ to cool your house to the perfect temperature.

It saves as soon as you leave home

Our Smart Thermostat knows right away when you leave home, thanks to your security panel’s status and Geo-Services. While standalone thermostats are still wondering why there’s no motion in their room any more, ours is setting back to an energy-saving temperature before you’re even in the car.

It saves when you open a window

A big cause of wasted energy is running your AC with an outside door or window open – a problem that standalone thermostats can’t address. Our thermostat knows if you’re ‘cooling the neighborhood’ thanks to your door or window sensors, and will set back automatically to save energy until you close the door.

It even knows what’s happening outside. 

With access to real-time weather data, our Smart Thermostat can even adjust automatically on extremely hot or cold days to take an additional bite out of your energy bills. It’s also compatible with ‘demand response’ programs from utility companies, making you eligible for reduced rates if your electric company offers them.

It protects you from smoke and CO2

Because it’s connected to your security system, our thermostat can even help safeguard you from environmental threats like smoke and carbon monoxide.In the event of your connected smoke / CO sensor detecting either hazard, our thermostat instantly shuts your HVAC down, minimizing the chance of toxic gas or damaging smoke circulating through your home.

It’s completely integrated with your Smart Home

Our Smart Thermostat is the first thermostat built specifically for the Smart Home. It’s integrated fully into the Alarm.com smartphone app, letting you control your temperature alongside your security panellightslocksgarage door and more. Behind the scenes, the Alarm.com platform – a cloud technology connecting millions of homes – enables intelligent savings, new feature updates and security-grade reliability.

Why You Should Upgrade to a Smart Garage

Sea to Sky Security’s Smart Home Security helps you protect and control the entire perimeter of your home – including the garage.

From protecting your car and guarding your tools, to securing a common but easily overlooked entry point to your home, our Smart Home Security systems have you covered.

Here’s what it will give you.

Smart Access

70% of Canadians use their garage door as the primary entrance to their home.

That’s a lot of opportunity to leave it open by accident.  A connected garage door powered by our alarm.com platform helps eliminate this problem.

Using your location as a trigger, our exclusive Geo-Services feature alerts you if you leave home without securing the garage. You’ll get a pop-up smartphone alert that lets you close the door right away, from wherever you are.  You can also create an alert to tell you if the door is left open for a certain amount of time.

Almost any garage doors can be retrofitted to integrate them into a Smart Home system. For more details, contact us today!

Monitored Security

From lawnmowers to tools, you probably have thousands of dollars’ worth of contents in your garage. If you’re a car enthusiast or dedicated DIY-er, multiply that figure by ten. A wireless Smart Home Security system protects your property and is easy to extend into an attached garage.

You’ll always know when the garage door is opened, and our exclusive image sensor will detect movement and send you a picture of what caused it.  If you add a video camera to your system, you can record a clip automatically every time the door opens. You can view your images and clips anytime, anywhere, from your smartphone (or Apple Watch).

Our systems are also professionally monitored. That means that if there’s a break-in, trained security professionals will respond and dispatch emergency services.

Smart Fire Safety

With power tools and gasoline on hand, your garage is one of the most fire-prone places in your home after the kitchen. A connected smoke detector powered by Alarm.com will instantly alert the professionals in the event of a fire.  Your smart home security system will also keep you safe by shutting down your HVAC system to keep smoke from spreading, turning on your smart lights, and alerting you via your smartphone.

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No Weak Spots

It’s tempting to leave the door that connects your garage to your home unlocked, especially when you know the garage door is closed behind you. However, this door should be secured day and night as a potential entryway to your home.

A smart lock with a keypad is perfect for this role. A simple four-digit code lets you back into the house, eliminating the need to carry your keys around with you. As a bonus, if you have an older teenager who’s started driving, you can give them their own user code which triggers a smartphone alert, letting you know they’re home safe.

Want a Smarter Garage? 

Professionally installed, configured and monitored, a Smart Home Security system is the smartest upgrade you can make to your garage and home this year. Contact us today.