San Francisco designer Yves Behar of Fuseproject has designed a lock that replaces physical keys with a smartphone app.
Developed by Yves Behar in collaboration with technology entrepreneur Jason Johnson, the August Smart Lock is a cylindrical metal device that fits over the existing deadbolt and syncs with the user's smartphone.
It uses Bluetooth to sense when the phone is approaching in your pocket then unlocks the door automatically, while remote allows you to open the door for guests from anywhere.
With an access code, other people can be given assigned entry times and dates - for example a cleaner could have a code that only grants access on a specific morning each week, or guests staying for a week could have a code that expires after they leave.
It's possible to send invitations to events and grant access to guests through the app, where guests and owners can also leave notes for each other or share pictures and comments.
The user interface of the app features flat coloured circles to indicate whether the door is open or closed and control who has access when. The lock has an anodised aluminium case and incorporates LEDs to indicate whether it's locked or unlocked.
The battery-powered device uses the same secure secure communications technology as online banking and August is not dependent on the house's power supply or WiFi.
"Whereas traditional keys are easy to lose and copy, keypad codes can be easily shared, and biometrics are expensive and a challenge to install, the smart lock is a beautifully designed, easy to install, sociable device accompanied by a single mobile app that runs on your smartphone," explain Behar and Johnson.
The product will be ready to ship later this year and is the first from new brand August, co-founded by Behar and Johnson, which launched on Wednesday at the D: All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
Here's some more information from Behar:
August: you are invited
Have you ever lost your keys? I am willing to bet that 99% of us have. In the last year, 20% of Americans have been locked out of their homes at least once. Humanity has been carrying keys, sharp pieces of metal in our pockets, for 200 years...it's time we think of something else.
This is the task my co-founder Jason Johnson and I have decided to address: to make home entry magical, safer than keys or keypads, and something that makes our lives a little better. We set out to design the August Smart Lock hardware so that it works with existing deadbolts, it is easy to install and is beautiful on a door. The user interface of the smartphone app is intuitive, and allows for great control about who and when friends, family as well as services will be able to access your homes. The best user interface is often invisible: August auto-‐unlocks your door as you approach, and sound design creates an audio confirmation.
The name and logo is warm, friendly and elegant; these qualities are extended to the app, which uses a flat design of simple color circles as indicators for door status, a keychain of all your keys, and scheduling guests’ access. The lock itself is also a simple circular extruded shape, hand sized and made of durable anodized aluminum. The craft details increase tactility with diagonal knurling and the LED's micro-‐perforations, as well as a physical scoop on the lock, are visual indicators as to whether the door is locked or unlocked.
Changing the archaic key system is also a way to shift the conversation from keeping people out to ways of making our homes both secure and social places that our family and friends can easily access. With a beautiful and minimally designed smart lock, and an easy, safe, social app experience, August is the first step towards seamless interactions with useful technology we will experience everyday in our home.