It is official: smart locks have taken home automation by storm. The sudden arrival of these lock-and-key replacements has been largely due to the rapid growth of home automation, but another factor is the emergence of startup companies focused solely on smart lock development.
Here is a brief overlook of four of the biggest names in the smart lock and key market, as well as information on how their products differ from the rest.
The Lockitron is one of the more affordable smart lock options on the market, with a starting price of $179. If you’re just beginning to try out home automation and smart locks, or are on a tight budget, it’s the perfect option.
The lock is compatible with every major smart phone operating system, so you can lock/unlock your door using almost any phone. However, Lockitron’s method of keyless entry, Sense, is only supported on newer models of the iPhone, iTouch and iPad. It should be noted that this is a technical limitation of the other platforms, since they have been slow to adopt Bluetooth 4.0. Lockitron promises plans to support Sense on other platforms soon.
Lockitron also features the cool ability to be modified to play chiptunes. We’d love to be able to hear nostalgic video game themes every time someone came home.
August Smart Locks
At first glance, the August Smart Lock appears the same as any other smart lock: sleek, compact, easy to install, and easy to use. However, August’s iteration stands out because it focuses on the social aspect of the lock, something other brands have ignored.
How can a lock have a social aspect? It becomes a “bouncer” for your home – allow me to explain.
A real bouncer holds a guest list, only allowing those with their names on the list into the venue. Similarly, you create a guest list on the August Smart Lock and it will only allow accepted guests to enter by issuing temporary keys. After the get-together is over, the keys are erased and become useless. The smart lock can also act as a virtual guestbook, allowing you to leave instructions and for guests to write thank you notes or comments.
The August Smart lock also features proprietary EverLock technology, which automatically locks the door after sensing it is closed. This technology is compatible with iPhone and Android, and there are plans for BlackBerry and Windows Phone 8 versions.
Brilliant name aside, Okidokeys separates its smart lock from competitors with its many customization options and competitive $179 price tag.
Okidokeys is can be used with any home door, including garage doors and gates. It also comes with a built-in alarm that will go off when an intruder tries to enter. And so you don’t mistake a welcomed guest for a burglar, a welcoming bell will chime instead for accepted users.
The lock also features a hands-free option using your smartphone, but the option will only work on Bluetooth 4.0-enabled smartphones. If you don’t have one of these phones, don’t worry, you’re not out of luck. Okidokeys also makes hands-free door opening available with key fobs, smart tags, and RFID cards.
Goji Smart Lock
The Goji Smart Lock features video recording, something we haven’t seen from any other smart lock company. Whenever the lock is activated, the built-in camera will begin recording. All images captured will be kept in a log so you can access them to see who’s been coming and going.
In addition, the camera will take pictures of who is at your door and send them to your phone. You’ll have immediate knowledge of who is knocking, trying to enter, or messing with your lock.
Knowledge is Key
The smart lock has captured our interest with its innovation and the possibilities for home security. The brands mentioned here are just a few of the many smart lock options. The industry is very new, however. Many of these products are still in development and we’re confident that they’re just the beginning.
Editor’s Note: This is part two of a series diving into smart lock technology. The first post focused on the technology and concerns with smart locks. Check it out here.