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Your Phone Is the Key to the New August Smart Lock

Your Phone Is the Key to the New August Smart Lock

Of all the mechanical gadgets in our homes that could be improved by adding an electronic component, the lowly door lock seems the most ripe for picking.

Evidence: the many companies that have developed "smart" locks, including the iPhone-controlled Kevo and Lockitron. And now, designer Yves Behar and serial entrepreneur Jason Johnson are the latest to join the lock business with the launch of their company, August, and its debut product, the August Smart Lock.

Your Phone Is the Key to the New August Smart Lock

Much like the Kevo door lock or Lockitron, the August Smart Lock can be controlled using a smartphone. It pairs with your phone -- and potentially other devices -- over a Bluetooth low energy (BLE) connection to communicate with the lock and grant you keyless access. It's as simple as walking up to a door and giving the lock a moment to recognize you. It then unlocks and lets you pass through the door, which auto-locks behind you.

Behar and Johnson spent the last year working on August, which will go on sale later this year for around $200. Their aim was to create a lock that is as simple and safe as possible -- and naturally, given Behar's pedigree, one that doesn't sacrifice design.

You can grant keyless access to friends, family and visitors by inviting them through the accompanying app. You can also customize which days a person has access to your home, even during which hours, and revoke access whenever needed."Safer, simpler and more social are the areas we've focused on," Behar says. "Just as we're doing for fitness tracking, really changing access and managing guest entries into our home is the next stage."

The result is a very pretty, circular, all-aluminum locking device that you put in place of the existing deadbolt on the inside of your door. A circular dot pattern of lights glows green when the lock is unlocked and red when it's locked. Unlike the Kevo lock, you don't have to replace the door's entire locking system. The installation should take no longer than 10 minutes, according to Behar and Johnson, and you can still use a regular key on the August lock.

The lock comes with both a mobile app and a web app, so it can be used with all Bluetooth-LE-enabled smartphones. August will initially launch with iOS and Android apps. You can grant keyless access to friends, family and visitors by inviting them through the app. Then you can customize what days a person has access to your home, even during what hours, and revoke access whenever needed. The app also logs the time and date each user enters and exits through the door. This level of detail is handy especially when it comes to managing hired workers like dog-walkers, maids or contractors. You're able to see whether they showed up on time, and how long they actually stayed in your house. Behar and Johnson are also already in talks with services like grocery delivery companies to implement August locks and apps.

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