Deadbolt locks are springing to life with high intelligence these days. The latest is Kwikset‘s Kevo deadbolt lock, which doesn’t require a key or for that matter a numeric passcode keypad for you to unlock. Thanks to Bluetooth, the only digits required are the ones attached to your hands.
According to the company, the Kevo uses Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0 technology to turn a smartphone into an electronic key (eKey) and provide the communication with the deadbolt, as long as you’re carrying one—it could be a smartphone with Kwikset’s mobile app loaded onto it, or a Kevo fob that’s included with the $219 device.
Both devices can stay in your pocket, but deliver the wireless message to the Kevo deadbolt that enables you to open it with the touch of your finger. Now that’s a smart deadbolt!
“UniKey’s innovative touch-to-open system creates a platform for how we will interact with locks in the future,” says Phil Dumas, president of UniKey, which Kwikset partnered with on creating the smartphone app technology. “By uniquely combining existing mobile and Bluetooth technologies, we’re bringing your front door into the digital age without compromising the look or security of the lock.”
The app is used for initial setup, sending, disabling and deleting eKeys, viewing history of lock activity, and setting up other configurable features and options, according to Kwikset. Don’t worry about expending time to open it on your phone before you can open the door, either, as it simply stays put in the background while working.
With the app you can also send eKeys to those whom you might want to access your lock (dog walkers, babysitters, etc.) and you can manage their comings and goings.
Kwikset says the app is available for iPhone 4S and 5, plus fifth-generation iPod touch, third-gen or higher iPad and iPad mini, and is working on compatible apps for Android and BlackBerry devices.
The $219 package (which can be ordered now, with expected shipment in September) includes one deadbolt, one fob, two mechanical keys and two smartphone eKeys available for download. Three finishes for the product are Satin Nickel, Venetian Bronze and Polished Brass, and Kevo operates on four included AA batteries.
Here’s a video from Kwikset—we’re pretty sure they added special effects, but hey, the main effect of a touch-to-open deadbolt is quite cool on its own.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com and Electronic House magazine.
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