August joins the race for smartphone-enabled keyless door locking
While Lockitron was the first viable consumer door security option to incorporate remote locking and unlocking via smartphone, August has now stepped up to the challenge, offering compatibility with existing locks and a guestbook feature to track who’s coming in and out of the house.
There are a lot of similarities between the two devices – both offer homeowners the ability to unlock their front door with a companion smartphone app, although August solely uses Bluetooth, rather than Lockitron’s NFC and wifi. August, which was designed by Yves Béhar, also lets users distribute access to the property through profiles – for example a neighbor or close friend could be given permanent access, while a maid or babysitter’s access can be restricted to specific times of the week. The device keeps a log of who actually enters the building – unlike Lockitron – offering an extra element of security, while its guestbook feature allows friends to leave comments and and instructions. It also provides automatic unlocking when those with permission come into the vicinity of the door, and locks the door behind them.
At USD 199, the August is slightly more expensive than the USD 179 Lockitron, which sold over 14,000 pre-orders totalling more than USD 2 million through its crowdfunding campaign. However, initial interest in the August garnered 10,000 email subscriptions in its first 24 hours – according to Béhar – indicating the tight competition in this market. Could the August’s sleek design win over consumers?