Home Automation with License Plate Recognition

We've all seen Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology in action movies where the authorities scan through footage to track down a stolen car. Or, we see the same technology installed in a building parking lot, used to scan and record arriving and departing vehicles. 

Although the technology is commonly used by businesses for security or parking management, the same technology can also be used in our Smart Homes to welcome (and impress) guests and improve home security.

A Smarter Home with ALPR

The ALPR offers convenience and peace of mind, especially if you value privacy and security. It's also a simpler solution to tracking and announcing guests, adding a bit of luxury to their experience when staying over. Practically speaking, there are plenty of ways you can put ALPR technology to good use.

Visitor Announcement

If you constantly have guests over, it's good for you to be alerted when they have arrived. You can do this by connecting ALPR to your smart speaker like Sonos or Chromecast. This application isn't only for guests as it can also be for security. You could set up the system in a way that announces unknown vehicles arriving in your driveway.

Gate Opener

The ALPR can also open your gate for you. Imagine the convenience of your gate automatically opening without you having to step out to manually open it for guests or for anyone arriving or leaving.

Record Cars While Away

It's always challenging to be unable to monitor things when you are away from your home. With ALPR, you can monitor and record cars that pull up in your driveway while you are vacationing, on a business trip, or visiting family in another state. You can also set up your system so it records all the cars that pass by your home. 

Create a Welcoming Smart House

ALPR isn't just for gate opening. If you want to impress your guests further, what about programming your system to unlock the door and turn on the A/C when a guest arrives? You can also do this for yourself and your family as long as you whitelist your license plates. It's even possible to have your crockpot or instapot turn on as soon as you arrive. Oppositely, if an unknown car pulls up, you can program your system so the door locks or other security measures are activated.

Garage Door Opener/Closer

ALPR can also automatically open your garage door for you. This can be done by programming your system to identify your car, your wife's car, or other family members' car when they arrive. This can come in handy when it's raining or you just don't want to step out of your car to open and close your garage door.

Automatically Turn on Perimeter Lights

Imagine if you're sleeping soundly late at night then an unknown car pulls up in your driveway. Wouldn't it be safer for the lights in your perimeter to turn on automatically even without you manually doing it? 

The lighting surrounding your house can be very important for security. A University of Chicago study confirms that increased levels of lighting led to a reduction in "index crimes." In the study, new lights were installed in specific public housing developments with elevated crime levels. With the help of new lighting, "index crimes" in those housing developments were reduced to about 36%.

Things to Consider

If you're considering getting an ALPR for your home, there are a couple of things that you should think about before taking the next step:


The ALPR technology should be accurate, meaning that it should still be able to recognize a license plate even in low-lit conditions, from blurry distances, or from awkward angles. The ALPR should also be able to recognize plates that don't have the standard configuration. The processing speed and tolerance for input data should be part of the performance aspect and should be considered.

Installation and Integration

Is it easy for the APLR technology to be installed and integrated? For homeowners who know their way around technology, the setup for APLR options like Plate Recognizer is straightforward.  Plate Recognizer is known to be more accurate than open source OpenAPLR. But in the case where you need some assistance (especially with complex setups), the provider should be able to assist you.


Price is definitely something that you consider. You have to weigh the pros and cons, and see if the price tag of the technology is worth your convenience. It's good to have a provider that offers free trials for a limited time so you can see if the integration works for you.

Customer Support

Lastly, you need to check a provider's customer support. In the off-case that you need to troubleshoot a problem (and the problem is too technical), a good APLR provider should be able to respond in a timely manner and offer the right kind of solution for your issue.


APLR technology is going to make your Smart Home even smarter with automation that will impress your guests - automatic opening of the gate/garage door, unlocking of the front door, starting the A/C or fire, and so on. 

It's definitely going to make your life more convenient and secure but you'd have to contrast that convenience with the value the technology gives to you. Consider the price, use, and integration into your current system, as well as the customer support that you can get from a provider.