I'm going to break every rule I've ever heard about safety and not oversharing on the internet (but it's for a good cause I promise!) Here it goes: when I was growing up, we never, ever locked our doors.
I grew up in a medium sized city and we had close neighbors. My parents were not unaware of the crime risks in our town - it was more of a convenience thing. My brother and I could never remember our keys, our friends were at our house more than they were at their own homes, my parents were active in the community and there were people swinging by to grab tables and materials for events that we would leave right inside the door. It honestly just got easier to leave it unlocked than try to coordinate someone being home every time someone needed to get in.
But what if things could be convenient and still be secure?
Well, the front porches of the future will be both. Here are just a few features of the new front porch that will make life so much easier in 2017 (spoiler alert: the future is now):
Automated Lights: Ok, these are a present thing not a future thing. I'll give you that one, but they all work together. Having outdoor motion lights that turn on automatically or that you can control through a smartphone app is just one of the features that will make your front porch safe and secure moving into the future.
Automated Locks: I'm a little bit obsessed with these. They just make life so easy! You can enter a code on the keypad to unlock your front door so you never have to worry about forgetting your keys again. You have guests coming into town? Great, they can text you when they arrive and you can unlock your door via an app on your smartphone and let them in. You can even set-up your lock and an alarm system so that when your door unlocks it also disarms your alarm - no more rushing inside to try to punch your code into your keypad quickly!
These awesome locks let me set-up temporary codes through my smartphone app that expire at a set time (perfect for Airbnb owners), and I receive SMS messages any time my door is unlocked. You'll never have to worry if you forgot to lock your door again because these bad boys can be programmed to re-lock automatically after a set period of time.
Doorbell Cameras: This is for the tech lover in your life. This handy doorbell lets you view a live camera feed once the doorbell has been rung, and even speak to whomever is at your door! Is the UPS guy dropping off a package from your latest Amazon Prime binge? You'll get a motion activated video notification on your smart phone app, and you can unlock the front door (or garage door if it's integrated into your system) and ask the very nice UPS man if he wouldn't mind putting the package just inside the door so it won't be sitting on your porch while you are at work. Once the package is secure inside, use your smartphone app to make sure your doors are locked again.
These are a great security feature as well. Many robberies happen during daytime hours and the burglars will knock on the door first to see if anyone is home. If you could speak to them and see them through the doorbell, you could tell them you are at home and just unable to get to the door. If they do decide to break-in, you'll have video footage of their face because doorbell cameras are motion activated.
What crazy new ideas will these tech wizards come up with next? Teleportation welcome mats (oh please! oh please!), a voice-activated door lock perhaps? Retina scanners and app activated trap doors?! The possibilities for the future of automation really are endless. I'd love to hear your ideas for future automation products you'd love to have to make your life more convenient and secure. Share them with me in the comments section below!