Three Good iPhone & Smartphone Door Locks | What's Out There
The day may soon arrive where the noble key, which has been with us for millennia, will disappear. The reason? Bluetooth enabled smartphone door locks are on their way, and they're set to shake up how we secure our property. One iPhone powered door lock has already hit the market, and more are coming soon.
Once locksmiths began combining traditional lock technology with electronics, it was inevitable that locks would not only get more secure and difficult to pick, but also that access (for authorized individuals) would become quicker, more convenient and more precise. Nowadays, with wireless radio wave technology at our fingertips, there's no reason we shouldn't take advantage of our iPhones as keys to our door locks and deadbolts.
I'm very excited by this technology, and look forward to the day I don't have to carry a clump of keys around with me. I wanted to share about three new iPhone deadbolts and door locks that are either here, or coming soon. Let's get started and take a look at what's on its way!
Kevo: An iPhone Controlled Deadbolt Lock With eKeys
First to hit the market en masse is the Kevo, which is a simple, single lock cylinder with a deceptively high tech and powerful capability.
Essentially, Kevo allows you to turn your iPhone into a key from virtually any distance. You can open and close the lock using an App on your phone, and all that's required is a simple touch of the screen for the bluetooth powered deadbolt to work.
I know what you're thinking: what if I don't have an iPhone? The lock cylinder is also powered by an RFID transmitter that gives access to anyone who is carrying a key fob. The only difference is, you can't use the fob to open the lock from a distance.
Why is this so cool?
Let's say your dishwasher starts flooding. Soapy water is pouring out from under your doors and windows. However, you're across the country on a business trip and won't be back for several days. You can use your Kevo eKey to open that lock and let the professionals in.
That's obviously a rare circumstance, but think about any circumstance in which a loved one has been locked out. Just take out your phone, press the button, and voila! The door opens and they're in.
It actually functions as a traditional lock too, so mechanical keys work in a pinch. The cylinder is 'bump-proof', and it's as strong and resistant to break-ins as you'd expect a security deadbolt to be.
Is it Android Compatible?
Currently, the Kevo is only compatible with the iPhone 4 and 5. That being said, I'd be surprised if it's not made accessible to Android users down the road. It uses 4 AA batteries, which give around a year of life to the lock.
If your phone was ever stolen, you can just log in to the app from another phone and delete the old eKeys to prevent unauthorized access.
It's great, simple and powerful, and I'm definitely not doing the Kevo full justice in my description. I'd encourage you to check it out. It's one of the only iPhone door locks to hit the market, and certainly head and shoulders above market competition in terms of what's currently for sale.
August Smart Lock: Smartphone / Computer Controlled, Powerful Features
The people behind the August Smart Lock aim to put a virtual keychain into the hands of every smartphone and computer owner, and they've got some brilliant technology to back up their goals.
Let's get into the nitty gritty of this amazing system. The concept utilizes an app-based keychain that contains access to all the locks that you've associated with your phone. It's really hand if you happen to use this system for several different locations.
The total control over the keys is something that really sets August Smart Lock apart from other iPhone and smartphone based door locks and deadbolts. You can specify very fine tuned instructions on how and when the key codes will work. For example you can designate certain codes to only work at certain times of the day: perfect for maintenance people and housekeepers.
Not only that, but you can get live logs of who has accessed your house and which codes were used when they entered and locked up again.
The system has power backups and is not entirely reliant on WiFi to keep running. It uses batteries (which will need to be replaced periodically, but you'll be given warnings). The excellent thing about that is there is no wiring to do, and it'll fit standard on most doors.
A neat feature of this smartphone deadbolt lock is a Bluetooth sensing feature that will automatically unlock your front door as you approach, by detecting the proximity of your phone in your pocket.
The deadbolt itself is designed to fit over the inner workings of your existing deadbolt, and the installation process is supposed to be relatively easy. The outer housing of the August Smart Lock includes an LED indicator which has lights referring to the lock status of the deadbolt underneath.
The app is simple and lightning fast to use, not to mention it's intuitive for anyone accustomed to a smartphone interface.
It's set to release at some point this fall or winter. It's an iPhone / smartphone deadbolt and door lock with a great design, solid features, the potential for customization, and rock solid security essentials. Check it out and you might get as excited about it as I am!
*The August Smart Lock has now been released and is available through a number of retailers.
Lockitron: Keyless Entry Smartphone Door Lock, Taking Preorders
Lockitron is a revolutionary new keyless door lock that's smartphone powered. It's so incredibly clever that I could go on about it ad nauseum, but I'll try to keep it brief!
Lockitron looked at the way we use our locks, and figured out a super easy to install and intuitive to use way to keep our homes secure. It's a great system that any smartphone can use (not just limited to the iPhone, and compatible even with older phones).
Let's start with the app and monitoring system. Your app is essentially just two large buttons on your screen, one for locking and one for unlocking. Simple, right? But it gets better. You can monitor when the door lock was accessed. That's a great feature for parents who want to know when the kids are home from school.
You can easily share your Lockitron key with friends and family by giving them access through the app. The lock is controlled using the mobile website, but you can also gain access by using a text message. The unit itself communicates with the website using WiFi, so you can literally access it from anywhere in the world, as well as receive updates on use.
Here's my favorite bit: The Lockitron smartphone deadbolt fits over top of an existing lock deadbolt, which means you don't have a messy installation project on your hands. That's great news for renters and homeowners alike.
It's supposed to be out this fall, and they're taking preorders. It's definitely one to keep on your radar, because it's one of the most versatile and user-friendly smartphone door locks around.
*The Lockitron is now available for sale at their website.
Other Considerations with Bluetooth, Smart Locks & iPhone Apps:
If you do end up opting for one of these locks, I have a few suggestions before you lay down any money.
- Be sure that your iPhone controlled door locks have the full suite of features you'll need for your home, business or family. Most of the systems are feature rich, intuitive and easy to use, but there are limitations and each brand has its own unique features. If you require customized user settings, the August might be the way to go. If your family all has iPhones, the Kevo is a solid choice. If you're a renter who can't change out the lock itself, the Lockitron is an excellent choice that you can bring with you.
- Backup systems are important. Make sure that you can still enter your house or business in the event of a power failure or other situation where your phone isn't available.
- If you're not technically inclined, be sure to call in a professional. A contractor or even just a friend who is handy can make the process of installation a lot easier and less stressful.
iPhone / Smartphone Controlled Door Lock Poll:
Questions or Commentary about these systems?
Joe from north miami FL on May 23, 2014:
Cool!!!! but kind of scary due to the abilities of hackers. loving smartphone info right now wrote a few articles myself if you get a chance check them out.