Remote Access: August Smart Lock
The August Smart Lock is a new Bluetooth-enabled home lock system that allows you to send a virtual key to anyone in your mobile phone’s address book.
Developed by San Francisco-based designer Yves Béhar and August co-founder Jason Johnson, the $199 lock is controlled by the user’s smartphone, enabling the homeowner to grant access to any guest remotely. It is due to go on sale later this year.
Béhar and Johnson focused on making the August Smart Lock as safe and simple as possible. “August is about technology that puts you at ease,” Béhar said in a statement. “Sure and reliable, August is a complete, secure and attractive system for the users and guests that depend on it.”
Keyless access can be granted for set time periods – for example, for a few hours each week for a cleaner, or a 24-hour period for a visiting friend. The user is sent a push notification each time someone enters or exits the household.
The lock runs on standard AA batteries, rather than wi-fi or a domestic electricity supply. This protects the system from power cuts or connectivity failures. The lock can still be opened using a normal key. If the user’s phone is lost or stolen, the app can be locked and all virtual keys deleted.
Manufacturers at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas stressed the potential of smartphones and tablets to update the concept of the connected home. For example, the SmartControl app from South Korean electronics firm LG lets users monitor and control their homes via built-in cameras. See Future Mobile Trends for more on the connected home.