August smart lock launches today, rolls out to Apple Stores this week

august smart lock 1
Update: After well over a year of intensive development, the August Smart Lock is finally on the market. The lock can now be purchased for $249.99, and starting this week, will begin to appear both online and on physical shelves at Apple Stores across the country. In contrast to most other smart locks currently on the market, August is designed as a retrofittable add-on to your existing lock. It installs in minutes, and essentially adds remote control and automatic unlocking features to the deadbolt that’s already in your door.

Described by its maker as “keyless, codeless and completely secure”, the August Smart Lock provides anyone with a front door another way to secure their premises besides the humble key.

The digital lock, which was unveiled at the D11 conference in California this past week, is the creation of acclaimed designer Yves Behar (known for the Jambox and Ouya game console) and entrepreneur Jason Johnson. The idea, say its creators, is that the August Smart Lock will act as a “virtual doorman”, allowing the home owner to control precisely who enters their home and when – without the need for a key.

august smart lockRelatedYale’s T1L deadbolt isn’t just smart, it’s friendly with other smart devices

To operate August, the owner sends invitations, or virtual keys, to others using an app on their smartphone. The app allows you to stipulate for how long the recipient can access the premises – so, for example, a plumber may have a two-hour slot in which to enter, while friends invited over for a party could be allowed access throughout an entire evening. That’s right, the days when you have to actually drag yourself off your sofa to answer the door could soon be over.

Bluetooth pairing between the lock and the phone means those with an invitation need only approach the door – with phone in bag or pocket – for it to unlock. Of course, once you’re inside, the door will automatically lock itself again when it closes.

Via the app, the system also gives the user access to an entry log with details of everyone who’s come and gone, and you can leave messages and photos for visitors for when they arrive, too.

Designer Yves Behar has come up with a beautiful, modern design for August – just be sure you’ve got a front door to match. It comprises durable anodized aluminum and LEDs that light up when it’s in operation. No messy, unsightly wires are involved as the device runs on four standard batteries – and you needn’t be concerned about suddenly discovering they’ve run out of juice as the app includes a battery level indicator. As a back up, you’ll be notified via email when they need replacing.

RelatedWish come true: The Genie smart lock may have year-long battery life

Of course, August isn’t the first device of this kind to hit the market – there’s the recently launched Kevo lock, for one – but it may well be the most eye-catching.

The August Smart Lock, which its designers say can be fitted to an existing deadbolt in a matter of minutes, is set to go on sale later this year with a $199 price tag. It’ll launch with a web app as well as a mobile app, and will work with any Bluetooth-LE-enabled smartphone.

This article was originally published on May 30, 2013, and was updated to with new availability information. Drew Prindle contributed to this article.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

Glas may be gorgeous, but this spendy thermostat is no smarter than the rest

A stunning OLED screen tops the prettiest thermostat we’ve reviewed in years. But GLAS lacks the brains required to justify its premium price. Read more about it in our full review.
Business

Bags with brains: Smart luggage and gadgets are making travel smoother

The bag you use to tote your stuff can affect the experience of any trip. In response, suitcases are wising up, and there are now options for smart luggage with scales, tracking, and more. Here are our favorite pieces.
Product Review

August and Yale’s first lock brings looks, smarts, and a split personality

The first fruit of Yale’s acquisition of August, this enhanced Assure Lock SL Touchscreen Deadbolt is a definite upgrade on last year’s model, adding style and versatility to home security. Read our full review to learn more.
Smart Home

Thanksgiving in an Instant ... Pot? Here are our favorite recipes

Did you know you can cook the majority, if not all, of your Thanksgiving menu items in your Instant Pot? It's all about picking the right recipes. These are our picks for the best Instant Pot recipes for Turkey Day.
Smart Home

You can now use Amazon Echo Buttons to set up multitasking Routines

Amazon announced that its Echo Buttons now work with Routines. You can craft custom Routines — multiple tasks performed together — and have Alexa carry out the command for you when you hit the Echo Button.
Product Review

You don't need Alexa in your microwave, but you'd be surprised what she can do

Amazon has added to its long portfolio of products with the AmazonBasics Microwave, a small appliance that works with Alexa. We took the microwave for a test drive to find out more.
Smart Home

Amazon has a huge team dedicated to enhancing Alexa and Echo

An Amazon executive on Tuesday, November 13 revealed the huge size of the team that's tasked with developing the Echo, the company's smart speaker, and Alexa, the digital assistant that powers it.
Smart Home

Ecobee announces Black Friday deals on smart thermostats and smart switches

Ecobee's 2018 Black Friday deals are live. Ecobee's smart thermostats and smart wall switch are compatible with smart home voice assistant systems including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings.
Deals

Here are the best Amazon Echo and Google Home deals for Black Friday

Google Home and Amazon Echo smart speakers compete head to head when it comes to smart home tech. Whether you're a fan of Alexa or Google Home, we've found the best prices on your favorite smart home devices.
Smart Home

Wynd’s new air-purifying bundle lets smart home owners breathe easier

Wynd is already well known in the tech industry for its popular Kickstarter-backed air purifier and now the company is launching two new products designed to improve air quality to inform smart home owners.
Smart Home

Google Assistant adds smart home bells and whistles in time for the holidays

Just in time for the holidays, Google Assistant is introducing a bunch of new smart home features, including the ability to reply to broadcast messages, create and use cookbooks, and access enhanced storybook content for kids.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Emerging Tech

These Alexa-stuffed retro phones don’t listen until you take them off the hook

Looking for an Amazon Echo with a cool vintage touch? Los Angeles-based Grain Design is taking old, non-working antique phones and transforming them into amazing Alexa smart speakers.