One of the First Apple HomeKit-Compatible Devices Ships
One of the first products to take advantage of Apple’s new HomeKit software for controlling connected devices in the home has begun shipping ahead of the anticipated introduction of the next generation of iPhones.
August Smart Lock, an electronic lock that provides keyless entry into the home, started shipping in limited quantities this week to consumers who placed orders on the company’s website.
The device, which debuted last year at the D: All Things Digital Conference, lets people unlock their doors using a smartphone app (instead of a key).
The electronic lock replaces the interior portion of an existing deadbolt lock and opens whenever you, a house guest or the cleaner approaches with the right virtual key stored in the smartphone app.
Co-founder and Chief Executive Jason Johnson said he has spent the last year making sure that August’s lock would work with any of the deadbolts sold at Sears, Home Depot or elsewhere.
“Instead of replacing locks on the door, we wanted it to work with existing locks and only install on the inside of the door,” Johnson said. “We had to buy hundreds of deadbolt locks … We went to many homes, studied the many shapes and types of deadbolt locks out there, and came up with a solution.”
August intends to be fully compatible with HomeKit, the home automation software the Cupertino technology giant unveiled in June at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
The smart lock company was one of the initial partners in Apple’s HomeKit certification program, which also included Philips, maker of the connected Hue Lux light bulb, and thermostat maker Honeywell. The certification process, which would ensure that any connected home device would work with Apple’s new mobile operating system, has yet to be completed.
The smart lock will work with any Apple smartphone sporting the HomeKit software and the August app. It’ll also be compatible with smartphones powered by Google Inc.’s Android software.
Johnson acknowledged the company also is developing software for wearable Bluetooth devices that would lock and unlock the door. Apple is believed to be developing a wearable device.