Opening Doors

Autoslide debuts AutoSwing system at 2022 CES

 

Doors that open and close automatically may be fairly common at grocery stores, banks and other public places, but an Australia-based company called AutoSlide is bringing that automated technology — and accessibility — into people’s homes.

AutoSlide, based in Blacktown, Australia, debuted some of its latest innovations, which can be retrofit to existing sliding or swinging doors, as an exhibitor at the 2022 mega consumer technology trade show called CES Jan. 5-7 in Las Vegas.

AutoSlide founder and CEO Mark Hancock used what he learned through 40 years in the commercial automatic door business with his business partner and brother, Robert Darren Hancock, to design a compact, simple residential door automation system. The first product launched in 2011, called the AutoSlide, was designed as a do-it-yourself product for single-sliding patio doors. The system also works on sliding windows, pocket doors and barn doors, and the company now offers a heavy-duty, belt-driven MultiDrive system with built-in Bluetooth designed for bi-parting or multi-track sliding patio doors.

The AutoSlide system on display at the 2022 CES in Las Vegas. (Photo by Brittany Martin).

“We’ve had a lot of people who’ve changed their lives, to gain more freedom, to gain access to get in and out of their home,” Mark Hancock says. “A lot of people just cannot do that because they can’t open a door and close a door.”

The AutoSlide system includes a motor device mounted at the top of the door that’s hardwired or plugged into an existing outlet. It comes standard with two wireless, wall-mounted buttons, one for inside the home and one for outside. Hancock says a built-in electronic locking system is an option, so the door’s original manual locks aren’t needed.

AutoSwing System

Debuting at CES this year is the AutoSwing system to automate swing doors. Hancock says it’s the first of its kind for residential use, and it can be integrated with smart locks and tied into any access control system for home automation.

The company also offers at least 12 types of wireless activation controls, including motion sensors, keypads, hand-wave sensors and remote controls, as add-ons.

Autoslide North America Vice President Joseph Castonguay says the various control options make the units customizable.

“So, somebody might have a motion sensor on the inside but a keypad on the outside, and you can program up to 15 wireless devices into a single system to control it,” he says.

Castonguay adds that many wheelchair users choose to purchase AutoSlide’s iOpen radio-frequency identification (RFID) proximity tags. The tags can be placed on a keyring to activate the door from a distance of up to 10 feet. People with pets or service animals even have the option to purchase pet RFID proximity tags that can be worn on the animal’s collar.

“They can come up within the distance of the door they set it at,” Castonguay says. “The door will swing open, they can get through the door. As long as they’re within the range of the receiver, the door’s not going to move. So, it’s not like they have to hurry up and get out or worry about it entrapping them in the door system itself.”

The AutoSlide system on display at the 2022 CES in Las Vegas. (Photo by Brittany Martin).

Better Accessibility

Another new product featured at CES this year is AutoSlide’s privacy system. Castonguay says the touchless solution for getting in and out of the bathroom creates better accessibility. But it also helps prevent cross-contamination in the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“You go into the bathroom now and everything’s automated. The toilet, the water, the soap, the towels, and then everything’s defeated once you get to the door because you have to grab the handle,” Castonguay says.

The privacy system can be paired with both the sliding door and swinging door systems and uses a hand-wave sensor to open and close the door. When activated, lock symbols on the sensor show red when the room is occupied or green when it’s vacant — like an airplane lavatory. In addition, for those with impaired vision, an included speaker announces whether the bathroom is vacant or occupied.

Helpful App

To add even more convenience, the AutoSlide, MultiDrive and AutoSwing systems can be operated with the AustoSlide smart device app. The app can be used to control multiple door devices either with Bluetooth (no internet needed) or using an Alexa skill set. Apple’s Siri will soon be fully compatible, and Google Assistant will be integrated in the coming months. The AutoPlus gateway can be added to connect the system to the internet to enable use away from home.

For people who have aides or attendants who come to help them, users can schedule an e-key through the app. This allows someone to choose specific days and times to grant access. The e-key is sent to the aide, who can then use the AutoSlide app to unlock and automatically open the door.

Important safety features offered as add-ons are backup lithium batteries and a new safety curtain that mounts above the door and stops the door from closing if someone or something is within the travel path.

Another unique offering is a weather sensor, which can be mounted on a patio or rooftop.

The AutoSlide system on display at the 2022 CES in Las Vegas. (Photo by Brittany Martin).

“People sometimes leave their doors open — go to the shops, go to work, whatever it may be, fresh air, whatever it may be,” Hancock says. “But sometimes you get storms, and just in case you forgot, there’s a backup system in place which we have — a wind and rain sensor. So, that can be adjusted to pick up heavy rain or a certain amount of wind. Once that certain amount of wind is attracted by the sensors themselves, it will then automatically tell the door system to close. The app would then notify you that the rain or wind sensor was activated and closed the door.”

Castonguay says a basic entry kit that’s typically used on pocket or barn doors costs $475. For patio doors, he says most people purchase the heavy-duty AutoSlide system with a commercial-grade motor, which starts at $770 and goes up to $1,000 to add the locking system. The first AutoSwing version will be available starting in February and will cost $1,600-$1,900, and a pared down version will be available for $900 in June.

 

Castonguay says the company plans to implement a program this year to give a free AutoSlide product to a veteran in need at least once quarterly.

 

 

The systems are sold and installed through AutoSlide’s dealer network. People can locate their closest dealer on autoslide.com, and dealers will travel to the home to give a quote and inspect the doors to make sure they will function properly. Several of AutoSlide’s pet-related products also can be purchased on chewy.com.

For more information, visit autoslide.com.

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