With RFDuino, BLEDuino, SensorTag, etc…, we know have several low cost Bluetooth Low Energy development boards / kits, however there are just a few Bluetooth SMART peripherals available right now, although many are currently being developed. One application of BLE will be the ability to use your phone to interact with objects around you, and Kwikset has just done that with its Kevo BLE Deadbolt that can be pre-ordered for $219 on Amazon with delivery scheduled by the end of October 2013.
All you need to do is to load Kevo mobile app unto your iOS or Android smartphone to turn it into an electronic key (eKey), and unlock the deadbolt by simply touching it with your finger without having to remove the phone from your pocket or purse. That looks highly practical, but at the same time very unsafe, so let’s have a look at some others features of this deadbolt:
- Kevo Web Portal can be access from a computer or mobile device to let the user can send, disable and delete eKeys through the portal, as well as delete a lost or stolen smartphone.
- Multiple Users – eKeys can be sent to family, friends and guests with Kevo-compatible smartphones, and there are different levels of permissions for eKeys: Owner and Admin eKey types (send, disable and delete eKeys), other eKey types can only lock and unlock the door.
- Compatibility – Bluetooth Smart Ready/Bluetooth 4.0 compatible smartphone. The app is currently available for iOS, and development for Android 4.3 and Blackberry is underway.
Fob Available for Non-Compatible Phone Users – The Kevo fob is an active Bluetooth Smart device that provides the same touch-to-open convenience as an authorized smartphone, and comes with the deadbolt. The Kevo fob battery is replaceable, and additional fobs will be available for purchase.
- Notifications – The Kevo mobile app can send users smartphone notifications when the door is locked or unlocked by eKey holders.
- History Log – A detailed history of the lock’s activity may be viewed through the Kevo mobile app or web portal.
- Audio/Visual Indicators – Kevo features visual and optional audio indicators that communicate smart lock activity and battery status to the user.
- Security Validation – Kevo provides multiple levels of advanced security and is continually reviewed by industry leading independent security experts.
- Positioning Technology – Kevo also includes UniKey’s patent-pending intelligent positioning technology that detects whether an authorized user is inside or outside of the home before granting access to help prevent unauthorized entry.
- Battery Power – Kevo functions on 4 AA batteries for up to a year with normal usage, and when batteries start to run low, Kevo will provide on-going indicators including visual light ring, audible, in app alerts and notifications.
- Simple Installation – Replacing a standard deadbolt requires only a single Phillips head screwdriver and less than ten minutes of installation time.
- SmartKey Re-Key Technology
- Pick-Resistance: SmartKey locks have passed the lock-picking standard, UL 437, par. 11.6.
- Bump-Proof: The BumpGuard component of SmartKey incorporates a patented side locking bar which replaces the traditional pin and tumbler design, to prevent lock-bumping.
- Key Control – SmartKey technology provides peace of mind with a simple and convenient re-keying procedure if keys are lost, stolen or unreturned.
So it seems they’ve taken some steps to handle security, like positioning technology to insure nobody can open the door if you are inside your home. BLE has a range of up to 50 meters, so hopefully they can also measure the distance between you and the deadbolt (e.g. it can’t be open if you have over 2 meters from the door), or if you are in the garden for example, and within range, somebody could just touch the deadbolt to open it. Security flaws has been found in other type of locks and people have hacked door locks, and as this is new technology, I’m not sure I would trust it for my home at this stage.
You can find more information on Unikey webpage, the company that designed the lock. You may also be interested in an alternative product called Lockitron ($179), that makes existing dead bolts smart via BLE or NFC connectivity.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
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