You use your smartphone to pay for lunch. You use your smartphone to check real-time traffic. You use your smartphone for… just about everything, really. So why not make your smartphone into an electronic key and forego fumbling around to get your front door unlocked?
That’s the idea behind August Access, a smart home technology company that is best known for their innovative smart lock. For under $200, you can install a small device called the August Smart Lock on any door. The lock will communicate with your phone and unlock when it is approached and relock as you enter.
And talk about convenience: When you need to let someone else into your home — like a guest, a house cleaner or the cable guy — you can generate a temporary access key that allows that person to use his or her smartphone to gain access.
“We’re very focused… on redefining what is the entry method to the home,” explained co-founder Jason Johnson in an interview with Business Insider. “Traditionally, we’ve had these locks, which are really designed to keep people out, and what we really wanted to do was flip that around and say, ‘Can we create a system that brings people in, and how can we reduce the friction to access the home by making it easy to give a key to someone you want to give access to your home, whether it be a family member or a friend or a service provider and make it really simple?'”
Say sayonara to hiding the key in the fake plastic rock or sliding it under the door mat. There will be no need to run to the big box store to have a key made for a soon-to-be-arriving house guest. That is, if you don’t want to. A mechanical key will still work in the door lock in case your battery dies, your
phone is misplaced or Great-Aunt Hilda doesn’t have a smartphone that will allow her entry.
What about security? The August Smart Lock uses Bluetooth encryption for communication between the phone and the lock, as well as a second form of encryption to maintain high security. If it’s stolen or you lose it, your smartphone’s access can be disabled instantly from any computer.
The physical August Smart Lock that is installed on your door, sold in four colors, is simple and discreet. Constructed of aluminum and steel, the lock is a solid disk that attaches to the back of the door, where your deadbolt lock would normally reside.
“It looks like something new, something you’d be excited to have and something you’d be proud of,” said designer and company co-founder Yves Behar. “It doesn’t look like a 1920s Victorian door handle. I don’t think that would be right for a product that has all this incredible technology embedded in it. To me, it looks like contemporary furniture or a contemporary home accessory.”
Behar should know. He’s the guy responsible for designing the Jawbone fitness band, among other technological gadgets. Along with Johnson, he has introduced August to companies like Sears Holdings, which is promoting the Smart Lock as part of its commitment to smart home technology. Instead of looking at complicated and potentially hard-to-use smart home technology, Sears is focusing on what will work simply and easily for the average homeowner.
Besides the Smart Lock, August Access has introduced additional smart home technology, including a doorbell cam and a smart keypad that integrates with your phone. The company has taken the same approach — easy to use, simple interface, elegant appearance — that worked with the Smart Lock.
August has also partnered with Apple and is enabled with the tech giant’s HomeKit technology, which may help the company incorporate more features over time.
Are you looking for ways to ramp up your innovation? Contact us for more information about the services we offer to help companies improve their creativity and find smart solutions.