I can still remember it vividly: it was a nippy day in January 2000, and I left home in the morning—as I often did—to go write a midterm exam at school. The Mississauga Palmers followed their routine in suit—my brothers went to their school; Mom went to work; and Dad was the last to leave to open the restaurant for 10. I don’t remember the exam. I don’t remember what I wore. I just remember how odd I found it when I called home and all I got was a busy signal instead of the answering machine.
This next part is still crystal clear to me—reaching the front door of our house and trying the key… only to find the door already open.
In the space of something like 3 hours, my family had been robbed.
It’s hard to understand what it feels like to be the victim of a home invasion unless you’ve suffered it yourself. Though the main floor was left largely untouched, I’ll never forget the sight of our bedrooms upturned, drawers piled on the beds yanked loose from their cabinets, and piggy banks devoid of their change. They took the wedding rings, computer, MP3 players and more—they even emptied the suitcases my Mom had packed for a trip to Jamaica, using them to cart away their ill-gotten goods with no one being the wiser. Even after we’d given our police statements, bought an alarm system and replaced what we could when our insurance claim went through, things didn’t feel the same for a long time thereafter. The home we’d once taken for granted didn’t feel quite so cozy anymore, and we were left with more questions than answers: Why us? What could we have done differently? How could we make sure it wouldn’t happen again?
The place that was supposed to be our safest was violated, and it’s really hard to come back from that.
More than 15 years later with a family of my own, the memories still ring vividly in my head, inspiring me to do whatever’s in my power to keep them all safe—and fortunately, 2016’s technology gives us options that simply weren’t around back then, with plenty of choices for how we can make our homes smarter at a fraction of what it used to cost to do the very same thing!
And the August Smart Lock with its companion—the August Connect—are two little devices that’ll do just that: change how you think about home security and the things you can do to stay a step ahead of those who might not have your family’s best interests at heart.
But what makes a smart lock so “smart”? I mean, we all know how locks work—you either have a key to open your door or you don’t. It’s that simple. I mean, of course, if your lock doesn’t get jimmied. Or, I mean, there’s also the fact that keys can be lost—they’re so dang small, after all! We worry about whether we actually remembered to lock our doors in the first place, wasting our time doubling back to check; we get accidentally locked out; we fumble for keys in the dark to get in… I’m sure our ancestors meant well all those millennia ago, but it’s probably time we put a little more thoughts into the thing that keeps the wrong people out of our homes and lets the right ones in whenever they need it!
Which is why the August Smart Home Access System turns the very idea of locks and keys on its head with features you can’t get from a simple chunk of metal.
Using the power of the August App, the smartphone software that does everything from determine whose phones can open the door to automatically giving you notifications and logs on who’s coming and going, the August Smart Lock will protect your home in ways you’ve likely never even thought about.
The door automatically locks behind you and opens upon your approach. It lets you create virtual keys for your guests that expire when you want them to expire. It connects to the Apple Watch. It takes 15 minutes to install and keeps your existing hardware so you can still use your keys if the batteries run out. It’s literally designed to help you put worrying about your home’s safety squarely at the back of your mind.
And when you pair it with an August Connect, you don’t even need to be home to open the door! If you’ve got a dog walker, cleaner, or anyone who’s going to need entry, all it takes is an alert and the push of a button to let them in! Sure, it probably feels like this is all straight from a sci-fi movie, but we’re finally hitting a point with technology that truly challenges what we can demand of our lifestyles, and I for one embrace it!
And a recent study commissioned by TELUS tells me I’m not alone—while only 34% of Canadians currently own a smart home device, 68% predict they’ll own at least one by 2018, and half of those think that number will be three or more! Rob Currie, vice-president of Mobile Devices at TELUS notes that while today “we’re seeing basic functionality like controlling lighting or thermostats from our smartphones”, this is just the beginning to get us used to new technologies—can you imagine biometric security systems like you see in Mission Impossible? Kitchens that sort their functions through learning your preferences and habits? The future’s coming fast, folks, so we’d better start getting used to its ideas while we still have the chance!
So if you’re looking to make your home a little smarter, a little more convenient, and—most importantly—a lot more secure, you’ll likely want to try your luck at my giveaway with TELUS where one reader will walk away with the August Smart Lock and August Connect, two prizes with a combined value of $360 CAD! Just make sure that if you do enter, you know that the August Smart Lock will only fit single cylinder deadbolt locks—if you have a home with a Mortise, rim cylinder or integrated lock, this prize is not for you!
(Contest open to Canadians living outside of Quebec aged 18+, and ends June 2nd, 2016 @ 11:59 PM ET! Good luck to all who enter!)
The August Smart Home Access System—Keep the Wrong Ones Out and Let the Right Ones IN.
When it comes down to it, the August Smart Lock won’t solve all your home security woes—when we were robbed those 16 years ago, the thieves jimmied a window open at the back of the house, taking advantage of an absent security system to have their way—but I can imagine that things would’ve gone far differently had my family received alerts on our phones that all wasn’t as it should be at home!
You never know when something like this might happen to you—if that’s not incentive enough to keep up with the ever-changing times, I don’t know what is.
But the August Smart Home Access System—I’ve gotta admit, its possibilities have me excited. Even if home security’s not something you often think about, I assure you it’s not to be taken for granted—it’s just like insurance: it seems like quite the investment up front, but if you don’t do it, you won’t truly appreciate what it offers until it’s too late.
Thanks for reading, y’all, and may you always choose to invest in peace of mind!
Until the next,
Disclaimer: While TELUS originally compensated me for this post with an August Smart Lock and August Connect of my own, it turns out that our house is old—like 100 years old—and they probably didn’t design homes with smart home technology in mind back then.
But good thing this isn’t our forever home, right?