The home automation market is really starting to take off, and surprisingly, it's door locks that are proving to be one of the biggest areas of interest. Established home security companies like Kwikset and mobile carriers (via unnamed OEMs) are working to combine smartphones and deadbolts, while startups like Smart Knob are using offline technology to simplify vacation rentals. August, the brainchild of Yves Behar and Jason Johnson, combines elements of both approaches and does so with Behar's typical flair for stunning design. The primary way of unlocking an August-equipped door is through an app that pairs with the stylish mechanism via Bluetooth. But it skips out on the direct internet connection, which could leave it more vulnerable to hacks.
Instead, it passes all necessary online communications through the paired phone or tablet. In fact, it's capable of operating without an internet connection at all, since it relies on algorithmically generated keys, similar to a secure ID token. Those "keys" are assigned to specific devices, that also have the app installed, which are identified via Bluetooth LE. Each lock is synced up with Augusts' servers and attached to a unique account that you manage through the companion app. And, even if the batteries die, you can still use the old standby: an actual key.
Gallery: August door lock
Filed under: Household, Software, Mobile