Ever find yourself standing in front of your house door, fumbling for your key in the dark to correct fit it into the key hole? Or how many times have you had both arms so full of things that makes you wish that the door would just automatically open itself up for you? For those of you out there who have experienced this commonly recurring issue, key-and-locker manufacturer Kwikset has created a one-touch solution entry lock for your front door.
So how does this convenient and time-efficient device work? Kevo, the name of this two-part system, functions relatively similar to a keyless car entry system. The package includes the mechanical door lock piece, a part you can replace your original standard deadbolt with, and an app for your smartphone device. With the smart device within approximately 4 feet of the door’s range, you would simply lock or unlock the house door by tapping your finger on the lock face. An LED light ring will respond by lighting up green to indicate that the door is unlocked, yellow when it locks the door, blue when processing, and red when entry has been denied. A quick Bluetooth hand-off with a unit behind the back plate pairs the master smartphone with the front door lock. From there, the key’s owner can invite other household members to become admins (like a spouse) or users (like the children).
There’s no software limit to how many keys you can create at this time. The smartphone app controls basic permissions and lock disabling in the case where one of the smartphones are lost or stolen. The files are also encrypted with military-grade keys. Furthermore, there is a way to check on the access history to flag comings and goings, and alerts you can set up when someone leaves or enters the house. The latter appears to be specifically designed for working parents who would like to keep track of what time their kids get home after school.
For those concerned about leaving your phone too near the door and thereby allowing anybody access, the system actually uses two antennas, one on the inside and one out. So should you stand behind the closed door the system won’t trigger access to those outside. Battery life for the four AAs is rated for a year, and there is no need to worry about being surprised by an outage, either. The system will notify you well in advance using the lock’s eight RGB LEDs or through your smartphone app.
For now, the Kwikset Kevo requires the latest Bluetooth 4.0 protocol standard, also known as Bluetooth Low Energy, which is used to power the initial connection between the phone and door lock, as well as all subsequent locking cycles. Kevo currently only has an app for Apple’s iOS operating system. As the software side of Android is not fully compatible with Bluetooth Low Energy yet, Android app support appears to be delayed somewhat at this time.
Kevo will be available in three enticing colors, from shiny gold, to brushed pewter and brass for between $199 and $249 at home improvement stores, Amazon, and possibly other electronic retailer stores, as well.