Your voice is quickly becoming the only key you need. The latest smart lock to unveil Amazon Alexa integration is Yale Locks & Hardware, who on Monday, May 14 announced support for the smart assistant and the ability to unlock the smart deadbolts with only a spoken command. All you need is a compatible smart home hub, or the Amazon Echo Plus and a Yale Assure Lock with Zigbee.
While Yale already has an Alexa lock skill that lets Yale Z-Wave and Zigbee users lock their doors and get lock status updates, this is the first time that folks will actually be able to unlock their doors in a hands-free fashion as well. While the unlock feature is set to “off” by default, you can turn the ability on by verifying your Amazon credentials through the Alexa app. Like other smart locks, in order to unlock your door, you’ll need to set a four-digit voice code, and then repeat those four digits anytime you’d like Alexa to unlock your front door.
“Yale is committed to providing consumers with the smart home technology they want most, and the message from consumers is loud and clear – they want voice control,” said Jason Williams, president of ASSA ABLOY U.S. Residential Group, which includes Yale Residential. “With the addition of the Alexa unlock feature our locks now allow consumers to secure their homes and enter them using simple voice commands, delivering a new level of convenience without any compromise on security.”
Included in the Yale Assure Lock family is a wide range of keypad deadbolts available in both keyed and key-less versions. All are equipped with the company’s modular system that integrates with alarm systems and other smart home setups. All Yale Assure Lock deadbolts can be bought separately as a PIN-controlled lock, or with the broader Yale Network Module for more comprehensive smart home integration.
Of course, as convenient as these smart locks and connected homes are, users have recently discovered that efficiency could come at the price of privacy. For example, Ring video doorbells were recently discovered to have a rather severe security exploit that did not require users to sign back into their Ring apps even after passwords had been changed. So be sure that when locking and unlocking your Yale smart lock, you’re only letting the right folks into your home (and your app).