August Smart Lock
Nowadays, smart devices are everywhere. We can contact people with our smart phones, check the time on our smart watches, and then head home to get a snack out of our smart fridges (whilst setting the smart kettle to boil). Until recently, however, this abundance of technology has rarely extended to that most oft used of objects: the front door.
Like cavemen we still rummage around outside the house for a bunch of keys laden with unused bottle openers, Alton Towers key rings, and keys used to access long-forgotten garden sheds. But this daily practice could soon be about to change; and it’s all as a result of the rise of the smart lock.
One prominent example of the new technology is the August Smart Lock, which is due to be released later this year and promises to revolutionise the lives of door-openers everywhere. So, what are the key (couldn’t resist) features of the new lock?
Firstly, it automates the entire process of unlocking the door through the use of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. This means that you’re essentially able to ’log in’ to the lock through your smart phone, and set it to unlock remotely. Furthermore, other users can be given controlled door access. One advantage of this is that family members can be given 24 hour access to the door whereas a cleaner, for instance, can be restricted to using the lock only within a certain time period each day. This also means that party invites can be sent out to friends with door access included, eliminating the chore of constantly having to get up during the party to open the door.
Another big selling point of the new lock is its ease of installation. It can be retro-fitted to almost any type of single-cylinder deadbolt in a matter of minutes, according to the manufacturers, and requires no wiring – just 4 AA batteries. And whilst there is of course a battery charge indicator, the device can be opened using a physical key, which should perhaps be carried around in case of emergency. Furthermore, the lock can be accessed remotely using a device other than the owners, meaning that if your phone does run out of charge, you only need to borrow a neighbour’s to get back in.
This does, of course, raise an issue about privacy. After all, if the lock can be accessed using somebody else’s phone, could it be hacked into? The exact security on the site is currently unclear (presumably there will be a series of questions and checks), although August does point out that the device is safer than a solid key which can be lost or copied, or a key code which can be memorised by crooks (or vengeful exes).
Whether this security will be enough to convince users, however, remains to be seen upon its release. If it delivers, however, the August Smart Lock, along with other, similar devices, could mark a long awaited revolution in door-opening.