Wayzn Smart Pet Door review: Now Fido can open your sliding door

Wayzn Smart Pet Door review: Now Fido can open your sliding door

Sliding glass doors are great for doing double duty as both a manner of egress and a window, but they’re not the most convenient when it comes to smart tech. Wayzn aims to change that by giving the sliding glass door an electronic upgrade, one which is designed around letting your pets in and out of the house automatically.

The concept is simple: A mechanical bar attaches to the sliding glass door frame, pulling and pushing the door open or closed on command—or when it detects your pet is nearby thanks to an integrated motion/heat sensor. The execution is a bit trickier, however, which I’ll get to shortly.

For starters, let’s talk installation. Wayzn is designed to fit a wide range of door sizes, and you’ll need to first measure the width of your doorway to ensure Wayzn will fit. In the box, a collection of adapters is included to extend the length of the arm appropriately, based on those measurements. From there, constructing the rest of the device is a matter of attaching the motorized unit to a plastic adapter that connects to the frame. A second adapter connects to the back of the door.

Wayzn Smart Pet Door review: Now Fido can open your sliding door Christopher Null / IDG

Look at the photo at the top of this page to see how the Wayzn smart pet door is designed to be installed. My door configuration is reversed and required a less-elegant setup.

When you want to use Wayzn, you just lower the arm into the door adapter which connects the two pieces; to take it offline, you lift the motorized arm up and out of the way. All of the attachments to the door and frame can be made with sticky tape, but screws are also included if you want something more permanent.

Unfortunately, I ran into trouble pretty much immediately when I realized my door didn’t quite work like the ones in Wayzn’s setup videos. The trouble is that Wayzn is designed only to work on doors that have the sliding glass on the inside and the stationary frame on the outside. While this is common today, 40 years ago when my house was built the contractor installed a door that slides along a track which is outside the house. To connect Wayzn the way the company intended, it would need to be placed outside – which would simply not work for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the unit is not weatherproof.

I spoke to Wayzn about workarounds and learned that this issue is quite common, and that there’s no real solution for it aside using a little hacker’s ingenuity, though the end result is not ideal. I ended up attaching the motor to the side of stationary frame nearest the door, and then attached the door adapter to the side of the door opposite. In this layout (which makes better sense if you check out the photos), the unit is much more visible than in the specified setup, but it does at least work fundamentally the same way. Wayzn gave me its blessing to continue with this review using this configuration, but the company did note that if your door’s track is outside the house like mine, it really doesn’t recommend installing the product.

wayzn pet door 4 Christopher Null / IDG

The opener can swing up and out of the way when it’s not being used.

Once the hardware was installed, I found configuring Wayzn via its primitive mobile app to be a bit problematic, as the unit refused to stay connected to my Wi-Fi network for more than a couple of seconds at a time. (2.4GHz only is supported.) I put things aside for a day, and to my happy surprise, the following day things were working fine. Once it ran through a quick calibration, I was able to start working with it normally.

Wayzn offers a small handful of ways you can interact with the system, all built around letting your pets in and out. In the app, you are invited to “open” or “open then close” the door manually, or close the door if it’s already open. You can automate this by turning on the motion sensor built into the motor unit, which is impressively adjustable based on sensitivity, the size of your pet, and specific regions in the room which you want to monitor. There’s no camera on the Wayzn device—the company suggests you install a separate one if you plan to use it while you’re away—but the motion sensor was surprisingly capable at telling when my cat was sniffing around the door.

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