Keyless 'smart lock' space gets more crowded

Smartphone. Smart watch. Smart house?

Technological advancements in the home are nothing new. But now homeowners can get keyless access to their homes via the August Smart Lock, which uses Bluetooth low energy technology in conjunction with Apple iOS and Google Android platforms.

The product is hardly new, though, with several "smart locks" already on the market, including Lockitron, Goji Smart Lock and Kwikset's Kevo Smart Lock. Not surprisingly, most of these smart locks are available at Home Depot, Lowe's and Ace Hardware. Interestingly, though, the August Smart Lock can't be found at your traditional hardware store. Instead, co-founders Jason Johnson and designer Yves Behar decided to sell the product at Apple stores.

"Our aim from the beginning was to create a product that is functionally and visually integrated into the home. Not an eyesore, not a tech product that calls for attention," Behar, known for his work as chief creative officer at Jawbone, said in a company handout.

The lock is designed to fit over an existing deadbolt but is also compatible with all standard deadbolts. The contents, as well as the design, are minimal for a seamless installation and continued use. The device allows users keyless access to their homes through Bluetooth Low Energy and can be controlled via both iOS and Android platforms. Access can also be granted to others via virtual keys for specific intervals of time.

­August Smart Lock
Source: August

Smart locks could be the point of entry to an "Internet of Things" controlled home in the future. The company takes security into account with a system that relies on the same communications technology used in online banking along with a 128-bit AES encryption security. It also runs on AA batteries so an electricity outage wouldn't affect its usability although entering through a physical key is always an option.

­August Smart Lock
Source: August

The software component of the device comes with the company's private social network where visitors can leave behind photos and comments to a private virtual guestbook.

The smart lock and home access company has raised $10 million in venture funding to date.