The new August Smart Lock will unlock your door from the inside, responding to a digital key transmitted by an app on your smartphone.
The concept is very simple: a round device that fits over the lock on the inside of a door. The key is your Bluetooth-LE enabled smartphone, which will trigger the device to unlock the door from the inside. Thanks to the fact that the device does not actually replace the locking system of a particular door, installation is very simple, and only takes ten minutes.
This, combined with the $199 price tag, makes it the cheapest smart lock around.
The lock, known as August, was founded by Jason Johnson, and designed by Yves Behar.
“We’re giving people an easy way to transition to this 21st century way to enter, to have access and to give access,” said Behar.
Behar hopes that the device, which has been called August, will give people the opportunity to protect their homes, while easily transferring temporary access to people that are welcome.
“There are emotional barriers [with the door lock],” said Behar. “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. 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.”
The smart lock has several advantages, such as being battery powered. If the power goes down, doors will remain safely unlockable. And the batteries will last for a year, so replacement will not be needed frequently. Additionally, August will come with a regular app, and a web app, making it compatible with any Bluetooth-LE enabled smartphone.
August is encrypted, making it difficult to hack. Also, the codes used to unlock August devices are not associated with home addresses, so losing a phone will not enable somebody who finds it to break in, unless he knows where the owner lives.
No specific release date for August was given, except for the Winter of 2013. If Behar’s optimism is reliable, then people may soon “ start forgetting about their keys and not really use them”.