A not-so-bright smart lock just got bricked by a software update

lockstate smart lock
Lockstate
Seems like some of those smart locks aren’t quite as smart as we had thought.

A software update sent to a smart lock last week ended up bricking the device. What made the matter particular tricky for maker Lockstate is that accommodation service Airbnb recommends the Wi-Fi-enabled lock to its hosts. Which means there’s a good chance a number of the firm’s guests found themselves temporarily locked out of their rentals.

Lockstate CEO Nolan Mondrow contacted customers last week, opening his correspondence with the ominous message: “We are sorry to inform you about some unfortunate news.” Considering the situation, however, affected recipients would have known exactly what was coming.

“Your lock is among a small subset of locks that had a fatal error rendering it inoperable,” Mondrow wrote. “After a software update was sent to your lock, it failed to reconnect to our web service, making a remote fix impossible.”

The two affected locks — the 6i and 6000i — don’t come cheap, with the 6i, for example, costing buyers $469. Reports suggest around 500 customers have been affected by the issue.

While inconvenient, the problem should be less problematic for individual customers as the locks also come with a regular key. However, in cases where business owners have installed them for customers, the situation is likely to be far more annoying. Airbnb, for example, recommends the locks to its hosts to help them manage entry into their properties. You can issue different codes to different guests, and the system also lets you control and monitor doors remotely, and sends alerts to the owner when the keypad is used to unlock them. An access history is also made available.

Fixes

Lockstate’s CEO has outlined two possible fixes for the issue, neither particularly convenient. The first is to return the back part of the lock to the company, allowing its team to repair it by updating the software. This will take up to a week to complete.

Option 2 takes even longer — between 14 and 18 days, to be precise — and involves Lockstate shipping a replacement interior lock for customers to replace by themselves.

If you’re an affected Lockstate customer who’s still considering what action to take, the company wants you to contact it via 6000i@lockstate.com with your choice of option 1 or 2. Lockstate confirms it will pay for all shipping costs “within the continental U.S.,”  and provide affected customers with a year’s worth of free service for its Lockstate Connect Portal.

Mondrow said his company was “deeply sorry” for the trouble it caused, and insisted everyone at the company was working to sort out the issue “as quickly as possible.”

Product Review

Kwikset Kevo Convert Review: A simple route to a smart lock

While it lacks the features and overall value of the August Smart Lock, Kwikset’s Kevo Convert offers a simple and friendly route to upgrade your front door’s deadbolt. Learn more in our full review.
Smart Home

1 in 4 people plan to buy a smart lock this year, study says

According to new research published by Parks Associates, one in four households in the United States are planning to purchase as smart door lock within the next 12 months to protect their home.
Health & Fitness

Nike’s Android app is bricking its $350 Adapt BB self-lacing shoes

A firmware update for Nike's new self-lacing Adapt BB shoe appears to be bricking the $350 footwear for some owners. Android users have said the Nike app no longer pairs with the shoe, rendering the tightening mechanism useless.
Smart Home

After camera hacks, Nest locks customers out until they change their password

Nest is locking people out of their accounts if it believes there may have been a breach. Users will have to set up a new, secure password before they are able to regain access to their account.
Home Theater

Reasons not to mount a TV over your fireplace (and other helpful tips)

Mounting a TV above your fireplace may be popular and it might even seem appealing, but we have some concerns. We've got a list of reasons why placing your digital picture machine over a fire should be avoided, if at all possible.
Smart Home

Colored fridges are back, baby! GE’s new appliances revive the 1950s trend

GE Appliances is coloring us surprised at KBIS 2019 by introducing new hues for its signature Cafe line of smart home appliances including four new hues launching this fall to complement its black and white options.
Smart Home

Stainless steel is so last year. In 2019, it’s all about colorful appliances

For the past couple of decades, the color of choice for appliances has been stainless steel. Now, makers are introducing ovens, fridges, and dishwashers in vibrant hues to give customers a more customized, refined look in the kitchen.
Smart Home

Amazon Echo Dot vs. Echo Dot Kids Edition: What’s the difference?

The Echo Dot Kids Edition combines a free year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited with a two-year, worry-free warranty. But is the Kids Edition really all that much different than the regular Echo Dot?
Product Review

Miele's TWI180 dryer has one job, but struggles to get it done

Miele’s Heat-Pump Dryer is a compact machine that steams your clothes by recycling the water collected during the drying process. But how well does this technique work for getting clothes dry?
Deals

Suck up the savings with these vacuum cleaners on sale for $100 or less

Keeping your floors clean around the home is a constant chore. To help make things a whole lot easier, we've picked out some great vacuum cleaner deals available right now, from full-sized upright models to robot vacs.
Smart Home

Samsung lets slip that its Galaxy Home speaker will be here by April

Samsung has been teasing customers about its Galaxy Home smart speaker, powered by the Bixby digital assistant, for some time but after neglecting to mention it at Galaxy Unpacked, the company let it slip that it's coming in April.
Smart Home

Become a master chef with restaurant-grade gear you can put in your home

Hestan's new line of customizable indoor cooking suites for home chefs features ranges and range tops in a variety of sizes, single or dual fuel sources, number of burners, and griddles in two sizes with single or multiple heat zones.
Smart Home

Mount your TV correctly with the best stud finders of 2019

Endlessly searching for a stud in your wall can be a chore. Fortunately, these stud finders are both high-tech and straightforward, meaning you can drill, nail, and hang with the utmost confidence.
Smart Home

From fridges to fireplaces, the most luxurious home items you can’t afford

KBIS 2019 was a chance to see what's new in kitchen and bath tech, including all kinds of cool appliances. Some of these are the over-the-top luxury items that are destined for a very small number of mansions.