Together with Jason Johnson, a technology entrepreneur, Yves Behar has worked to develop the August Smart Lock, which is opened and closed using a smartphone app.
The new lock can be installed over existing deadbolts, and uses a Bluetooth connection to allow people to lock or unlock doors via their smartphones.
August’s developers say the device has advantages over traditional keys, which can be lost or copied; keypad codes, which can be easily shared; and biometrics, which can be expensive and difficult to install.
Yves Behar had this to say on the fuseproject website:
“Have you ever lost your keys? I am willing to bet that 99% of us have. In the last year, 20% of Americans have been locked out of their homes at least once. Humanity has been carrying keys, sharp pieces of metal in our pockets, for 200 years…it’s time we think of something else.
This is the task my co-founder Jason Johnson and I have decided to address: to make home entry magical, safer than keys or keypads, and something that makes our lives a little better. We set out to design the August Smart Lock hardware so that it works with existing deadbolts, it is easy to install and is beautiful on a door. The user interface of the smartphone app is intuitive, and allows for great control about who and when friends, family as well as services will be able to access your homes. The best user interface is often invisible: August auto-unlocks your door as you approach, and sound design creates an audio confirmation.”
Users can send ‘virtual keys’ to guests or people they would like to allow in. These can be set for specific times and disabled at any time.
When the homeowner or guest arrives at the door it will unlock automatically, without you having to take your phone out of your pocket, and lock behind you.
The device is said to rely on the same secure communications technology used for online banking. The August lock also has its own power-source, so it will work even if the home’s power or WiFi connection is down.
If the phone is lost, stolen or runs out of battery, users can log on using the August website to remove authorisation for the device or allow the door to be unlocked.
Behar said of the device: “August is the first step towards seamless interactions with useful technology we will experience everyday in our homes.”
August goes on sale in the US later this year, priced at $199 (£130).
More information can be found at www.august.com