Tech

$199 August smart lock lets you open your door using your phone

Updated: 2013-05-31
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It could mean the end of panicking when you've forgotten your keys. 
 
A US firm has launched 'smart lock' can let you into your home using a mobile phone - which you don't even need to take out of your pocket to open the door. 
 
The August lock costs £130 ($199) and can even be set to automatically let in friends or workmen. 
  
 
August smart lock
The August lock is a keyless entry system that works using Bluetooth. When a registered device gets near to the lock the homeowner or visitor can open the door by pressing the relevant address entry on the August app. The lock takes a few seconds to confirm the visitor's identity and, once confirmed, the red LED lights turn green and the lick twists to open the door 
 
August smart lock
The August lock runs on AA batteries and can be fitted to existing door locks in 10 minutes. The lock sits on the inside of the door, which means homeowners can still use regular keys if they forget their phone, for example. When the batteries get low an email is automatically sent to the homeowner to replace them 
   
August was created by technology entrepreneur Jason Johnson and industrial designer Yves Behar. 
 
The pair spent a year working on the device and it is due to go on sale later this year. 
 
The August lock is made of 'durable anodized aluminum' and can be activated and managed using a mobile app and online. 
 
It is connected to the existing door lock and is battery-operated. The makers claim that it takes just 10 minutes to install.
 
The designers claim that the August lock package includes deadbolt adapters and faceplates that work with around 90 per cent of locks on the market in the US - where it will go on sale. 
 
Once on sale, customers will be able to check if they're lock is compatible during the checkout process. 
 
August works with any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, although the apps will only launch on iOS and Android to being with. 
 
The encrypted locking technology issues registered devices, or invited devices, with unique codes that can't be copied. 
 
 
August smart lock
The August lock is made of anodized aluminum and will cost £130 ($199) when it goes on sale later this year. Future versions of the lock will be customisable to blend in more effectively with the colour of the doors they're attached to
 
To open the lock, anyone with a code can approach the door, enable their phone's Bluetooth and press the relevant address from the app. 
 
The lock takes a few seconds to scan and confirm the visitor's identity. 
 
Once the identity is confirmed the circle of red dots on the front of the device turns green and the August lock twists to release the door. 
 
A doorbell chime will also ring to let homeowners know when someone enters the house while they're in another room. 
 
 
August smart lock
To grant keyless access to friends and family an invitation must be sent using either the owner's Facebook contacts, or their phone's address book. The contact must have an August app to receive the unique invitation code. A time-limit can be set that ranges from an hour to 'Always'. Invitations can be revoked at any time
  
Homeowners can also use their key if they forget their phone or they want to save batteries, although August will email reminders to warn homeowners when their batteries are getting low on power and remind them to replace them. 
 
To grant keyless access to friends, family and other visitors the homeowner must send them an invite. 
 
This can be done using existing contacts from the homeowner's phone's address book, or using Facebook contacts, but the other person must have the app to receive the unique access code. 
 
When someone enters the house, the homeowner is sent a push notification. Another notification is sent when the person leaves. 
 
This means homeowners can keep track of how long cleaners or builders spend in the house and every visitor's details and visit information is stored on a Log. 
 
 
August smart lock
When a homeowner or visitor approaches the August lock they must enable Bluetooth on their device and click the relevant address entry on the app. When the app turns green the lock will open. Homeowners can also enable Auto-Lock that means the door will automatically open when they approach the door, without having to get the phone out of their pockets
 
The lock can also be used to let people into a party, for example, without having to open the door each time. 
  
A Guestbook function additionally lets visitors leave comments and photos, or thank you notes, for their guests or hosts. 
 
Invitations can also be sent with time limits of one hour up to 'always' and homeowners can revoke access at any time. 
 
The lock automatically closes after 10 seconds to secure the door. 
 
Behar told TechCrunch: 'There are emotional barriers [with the door lock]. 
 
'People don’t want their homes to be susceptible to burglary or unwanted guests, but at the same time, do often want to welcome people into their houses for various occasions. 
 
 
August smart lock
When a visitor enters or leaves the house using the August lock, a message is sent to the homeowner detailing who had entered the house. The details are also added to a log. A Guestbook function lets guests or the host leave notes, instructions and photos via the app too
 
'There’s a balance between these two feelings, and it hasn’t been met by the centuries-old key lock system, or by other recent locking mechanisms. 
 
'Until recent technologies came into the mainstream, such as Bluetooth-LE, it was a lot harder to do 
 
'There are biometric systems for door entry on the market now, such as iris scanners and thumbprint readers, but they are very expensive and very complex. 
 
They are really systems for rich people' 
 
'We’re giving people an easy way to transition to this 21st century way to enter, to have access and to give access.' 
 
Research carried out by the company found that 40 per cent of people carry five or more keys with them and 20 per cent carry a key they no longer use. 
  
SOURCE: dailymail.co.uk
 
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