Smartphones to Replace Front Door Keys

Smartphones to Replace Front Door Keys

Gregory Han
May 15, 2013

Smartphones have wiggled their way into practically every aspect of our lives, and in the process, thanks to the utility of the wide selection of apps available at our fingertips, have replaced books, newspapers, GPS units, digital cameras, gaming devices, maps, and countless other things we once hauled around. So why not our house keys?

The Unikey Kevo takes the tech standard of touch-interface we're all acquainted with and applies it to door security, all in the hopes we'll only keep keys for emergencies. An app-enabled iPhone or iPad offers access to door lock and unlock features without a house key in sight (unfortunately, the Android OS currently doesn't support low energy Bluetooth 4.0 needed by the lock communication system). An option for a keychain fob offers the same in/out access for those without a smartphone. 

How does it work? Security lock manufacturers Kwikset and Weiser have worked with UniKey to develop an integrated touch-to-open deadbolt designed specifically to work with Unikey's free mobile app. Launch the app, touch the deadbolt, and you're given access to lock or unlock your deadbolt, only requiring the proximity of your phone to gain access to the features. 

The system uses a color-coded notification system built right into the front of the  blue then green when unlocked, yellow upon locking, and red when denying access. Concerns about batteries inside the lock system running out are allayed by the availability of a good old fashioned mechanical key function, alongside an advanced warning system to replace batteries before it ever gets to that point. 

Smartphone enabled security systems like the CalypsoCase/CalypsoKey and Lockitron are amongst the wave of tech solutions aiming to free users of the need for house keys.

Digital door lock systems have been visible on the horizon for awhile now, but the Unikey Kevo seems to be one of the frontrunners for mass adoption thanks to the recognizable Kwikset hardware partnership. Additionally, users may see added benefit of using a smartphone-enabled remote entry because extra features such as the ability to send temporary "virtual guest keys" via app could be an attractive convenience. 

Like many things, timing is key, and it seems it's not a matter of "if", but "when" in regards to the tried and true house key being retired like the myriad of others things replaced by the smartphone.

Preorder signup for the Unikey Kevo available here and over at Kwikset, with plans for availability via Amazon at under $250.00.

Via: Business Insider

(Images: Unikey; Calypso; Lockitron)

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