To lock or not to lock…the choice is yours, no matter where you are.
Home automation is expanding into on-the-go automation with products like the August Connect. The Connect is a wireless hub that is powered by a standard outlet. You just plug it in and connect to your home network. Once connected, you are able to control your August Lock system remotely.
Here are a few highlights of this new device, which is available now:
Control from anywhere.
With this device, you no longer have to be in, at, or even near your home in order to control your lock. While temporary digital keys are still a super cool tool to use for guests or for dog walkers, but with Connect you won’t even need to do that. Instead, you can use your phone to unlock the door when they arrive, then to lock the door when they leave. This is great if you have hired help that comes by frequently, if you travel a lot, or even if you have rental or vacation properties. The downside, of course, is that you might be away from your phone or off the service grid, or your device may go offline at home, meaning you would lose control. I think saying that the days of keys in fake rocks, and even virtual keys, are gone is jumping the gun a little bit.
Peace of Mind.
If you are forgetful yourself, or have a forgetful spouse or family, this device will offer peace of mind. No more worry or anxiety about whether or not the doors are locked – just check the app. You have access to a real-time status through the app, for iOS or for Android. This device won’t help if your family is prone to leaving on the coffee pot or the curling iron, but hey, baby steps, right?
Know, and have a log of, who enters and exits your house, and the times they do so. You can set up and allow alerts to come through your phone via the app, so you don’t have to constantly check the app. This tracking extends to traditional and manual use of your locks as well.
Since Connect requires an Internet connection, that means that your lock can integrate with other automated home devices, like thermostats.
These features are great, but here’s some of the fine print:
This device that acts as a wireless hub retails for $80, but is useless without the companion piece, which retails for $200. That device is the August Smart Lock. This is the actual device that connects to your lock and manages entry. So, your cost is closer to $300 to get the entire set up.
If you use Connect, you are also pushing your home lock to your Internet, which could leave it vulnerable. If you are going to use Connect, you’re also going to want to invest in some great Internet security to protect you against hacking.
Overall, this is a cool device. There are a lot of practical uses, and the price point isn’t that bad for an advanced home kit.