HomeKit Automation #003: Create a status light for smart locks & sensors

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In our third entry to our HomeKit automation series, we explore a simple way to create a door lock status light. While the status light could represent many things, I use it as a way to be sure all my doors are closed and locked…. Read the rest of this post here

HomeKit Automation #003: Create a status light for smart locks & sensors” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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The maker of Schlage locks creates $50 million fund for IoT

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Allegion, the $ 2.4 billion company that makes Schlage branded locks, has created a $ 50 million fund to invest in the internet of things. This is Allegion’s first foray into corporate investing as a formal fund, although it has made investments prior to the fund’s creation.

Rob Martens, a futurist at Allegion and president of Allegion Ventures, will lead the three-member investment team. He says the goal of the fund is to find and assist startups trying to develop technology for access and for security and safety. This could be in the home or in office and industrial settings. He’s not exactly excited for startups trying to enter the consumer IoT space at the moment given the pressures they face to support their products over a long period of time and the pressures that can put on profitability.

However, he says many cool technologies aimed at the consumer market might be suited for industrial or enterprise environments. In those cases Allegion could be the right partner to help a startup break into those new markets. “The lion’s share of our business is not on the residential side, it’s on the commercial side,” Martens says. “With our assistance and our experience in the space we might help [a startup] accelerate their product into those commercial markets.”

Historically, corporate venture firms invest at later stages once a product and strategy is fairly clear for a startup. Allegion plans to invest earlier.  Martens is interested in seed, A and perhaps B stages of funding. Martens says he expects to stay involved in investments for five to seven years, noting that Allegion may also choose to expand the fund at such time if it’s needed.  Like many corporate venture funds, Allegion is treating this as way to advance technology it’s interested in seeing, as opposed to focusing solely on returns.

So far the internet of things has proved fertile for corporate-backed venture funds, with Amazon investing in nine companies through its Alexa Fund and insurer American Family Ventures putting money in five startups as of the middle of 2017. Corporate venture firms are also active on the industrial side. Back in 2016, CB Insights noted that five of the top 12 IoT investors were corporate venture funds, including Intel Capital, Qualcomm Ventures and Cisco Ventures.

Many of those corporate investors become buyers of new industrial or smart home technology.  So it’s possible that as Allegion invests in startups helping secure our world or improve the economics of the internet of things, it will find an idea that’s too good to pass up.

For more, check out Martens’  interview on this week’s Internet of Things Podcast.


Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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Two-Year-Old Locks His Mother Out Of Her iPhone For 47 Years

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According to a report out of China, a mother gave her toddler her iPhone to watch some videos on. Unfortunately, she then came to her iPhone herself and was informed that it had been locked for a total of 25 million minutes or roughly 47 years.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

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Netflix adds per-title PIN locks, visible maturity ratings to improve parental controls

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In a bid to make the streaming service more appealing to sensitive parents, Netflix has instituted a pair of new features allowing more restrictions over what their children watch — the first being a more nuanced PIN-lock system.
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The only thing Equifax’s new credit app locks is itself

Equifax still appears to have trouble wrapping its head around the concept of trustworthy software following its massive security breach. The company has launched its promised free credit report locking service, Lock & Alert, but there's one over…
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Best Smart Locks in 2018

Upgrade your door lock to make home security a little more convenient! Here are the best smart locks full of brains and brawn to protect your home.

Whether you’re just tired of losing your keys, or you’re already in the process of automating your home, a key part of this process is choosing a smart lock that fits your needs. Take a look at our list of the best smart locks to help you decide.

Best smart locks that support HomeKit

Best smart locks if you don’t require HomeKit support

Best smart locks that support HomeKit


The August smart lock’s appearance is immediately striking and will give any door a futuristic look — with your choice of dark gray or silver finishes. You can use your smartphone to remotely unlock or lock your door, or you can set up a proximity lock: Your door will unlock when you get approach with your phone and lock when you move away.

August’s smart lock is listed among the Wirecutter’s choices for best smart lock, especially for those who prefer to keep their existing hardware (I’m looking at you, renters!).

August lets you create virtual keys for friends and family staying at your place, and keep tabs on the comings and goings of your household using a built-in 24/7 activity log. The August smart lock requires no wiring and installs using an existing deadbolt. It’s also HomeKit-enabled, so you can use Siri and the new Home app to control your locks.

Consider the August if you’d like a smart lock that keeps track of activity and is fully compatible your iPhone and iPad. You can grab the August Smart Lock for about $ 230 on Amazon.

See at Amazon

Kwikset Premis

The Kwikset Premis smart lock features a capacitive touchscreen keypad in an all-metal enclosure. It comes in two finishes: Satin Nickel and Venetian Bronze.

You can lock and unlock your door using the keypad, the Kwikset app, or — thanks to HomeKit compatibility — Siri. The Premis offers up ongoing lock status information, so you can see who locked and unlocked your door and when they did it. It also features some handy security improvements, like an alarm that sounds after three incorrect code entries and SecureScreen, which requires you to touch two random numbers before entering your code (so no one can use your fingerprints to guess your entry code).

The Kwikset Premis is a great smart lock for anyone who wants a well-designed lock from a trusted company, but you’ll need to be comfortable with replacing your door hardware. The Kwikset Premis is available on Amazon for about $ 230.

See at Amazon

Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt

For those especially concerned with security, the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt meets the highest industry rating for security. Access combinations can have up to eight digits, and its memory holds up to 30 access codes at a time making it perfect for large families with frequent trusted visitors. It has a built-in alarm which goes off during tampering attempts or following damage to your door, and it comes with a lifetime mechanical warranty.

The Schlage Sense comes in three finishes in two separate trims, so it can better fit in with your existing exterior hardware.

You can connect the Schlage Sense to Apple’s HomeKit to further optimize your home.

The Schlage Sense is a great option for anyone who wants a high security rating with the convenience of a smart lock. You can pick up one of these smart locks for about $ 200 on Amazon.

See at Amazon

Best smart locks if you don’t require HomeKit support

Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock

Given that this smart lock consistently receives a Wirecutter recommendation and it’s also a popular, best-selling product, we have no problem giving Kwikset’s Kevo smart lock a place on our list.

The Kevo comes in two styles: a full replacement for your existing deadbolt or an August-Smart-Lock-style conversion kit that fits into your existing deadbolt.

Kevo offers a keyless, touch-to-open feature by using Bluetooth technology to recognize your smartphone and authenticate your identity. You needn’t go searching for your keys — just touch the deadbolt and unlock!

To keep track of your Kevo lock outside of the home, you can purchase the Kevo Plus — a WiFi connected device that gives you remote access to your smart lock.

Kevo is a great option for just about anyone looking to upgrade their dumb deadbolt — so long as you’re not interested in HomeKit compatibility. Amazon lists the Kevo Smart Lock and Kevo Plus Hub for about $ 280.

See at Amazon

Yale Real Living

Yale’s Real Living smart lock features a backlit touchscreen keypad that makes your door look futuristic and secure at the same time. If the appearance of security isn’t enough to deter would-be thieves, a built-in alarm will sound when someone attempts to tamper with the lock or when too many attempts have been made with the wrong code. The Real Living smart lock features Z-Wave technology so you can tie it into most home automation systems and control it remotely with your phone. Up to 250 unique entrance codes can be created for friends and family, and you can lock them all out with privacy mode — ideal for when you’re out of town.

Available in three colors — oil-rubbed bronze, polished brass, or satin nickel — you should check out Yale’s Real Living smart lock if you’re in the market for a lock that is easy to install and set-up. You can get Yale’s Real Living smart lock for about $ 100 on Amazon.

See at Amazon

Schlage Connect

The Schlage Lever smart lock is ideal for those of you with no deadbolt on your door. It features Z-Wave technology so you can hook it up with your home automation system and control it remotely with your phone. And communication works both ways: You can receive text or email alerts anytime your door is locked or unlocked.

This smart lock has a touchscreen keypad for entering your entry code. There’s also a vacation mode to disable all codes while you’re away. The two-piece system is available in aged bronze, polished bright brass, or a satin nickel finish to suit your home’s style.

If you enjoy receiving up-to-the-minute information about the activity in your home, have a look at the Schlage Lever. It’s available for about $ 185 on Amazon.

See at Amazon

Your favorite smart lock?

Let us know is the comments section below what you use to keep your home safe!

Updated January 2018: Out with the old and in with the new! This article has been updated to reflect pricing changes for our favorite smart locks.

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Google Assistant and Home can now natively control your smart locks, August and Vivint are the first supported

There are a few smart home device types that your Google Assistant/Home can control natively. Lights, plugs and switches, and thermostats were some of the first, but recently we’ve seen the addition of dryers, washers, dishwashers, vacuums, fridges, and even scenes. However, one type of device I’ve been personally waiting for are smart locks. Up until now, all smart locks were, uhm, locked into using the Assistant apps for integration, and not the native smart home capability.

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Google Assistant and Home can now natively control your smart locks, August and Vivint are the first supported was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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The stylish Otto smart lock’s creators are suspending operations

Smart lock company Otto is suspending operations after a failed acquisition agreement. In a blog post late last year, CEO and founder Sam Jadallah says the company made an acquisition deal that limited its ability to fundraise, but the buyer pulled out at the last minute, leaving Otto with no remaining cash. The first locks were supposed to ship within the next few weeks, but “Otto will not ship next month and it may never ship,” says Jadallah. The company will “evaluate [its] options” for moving forward in the coming weeks.

The Otto Lock was pitched as a tiny and stylish, but very expensive, smart lock. It sold for $ 699, and was intended for wealthy homeowners. Despite this limited niche, Jadallah told TechCrunch that Otto didn’t…

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Nuki smart lock review: A simple to use, reliable, and very smart solution for European-style locks

For the past year or so, I’ve been looking at smart locks and wanting one yet not able to fully commit to anything. Living in Lebanon means our doors don’t have the American-style deadbolts, but what is known as the Euro Style/Profile Double Cylinder – a lock that is quite prominent across France, Germany, the UK, and other countries. So August, Yale, Schlage, Kwikset, and plenty of brands geared toward the US market were mostly out of the question unless I wanted to take a risk and get something that doesn’t fit at all with my apartment’s door.

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Nuki smart lock review: A simple to use, reliable, and very smart solution for European-style locks was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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