Unlocking and opening my front door wirelessly through my iPhone still seems like something from the future, but in reality it’s already here – and it’s available now. These are called Smart Accessories and enable all sorts of possibilities – from gaining access to your home, turning on your air-conditioning, or turning on your lights.
I have recently come across my first Home-kit enabled smart accessory: the new Schlage Sense HomeKit Door Lock. This accessory allows me to access my home, enabling me to unlock, lock or even set an alarm wirelessly through my iPhone. What’s more is that using the device is as simple as asking Siri – here is my review.
Design and Installation
Firstly, I had to install the device itself – Schlage have provided a decent amount of instructions and within a few minutes I had the Deadbolt lock installed like any traditional Deadbolt lock.
After installing I had to go through a small set up process to register the door lock with my iPhone. After downloading the Schlage Sense app, the app used the camera on my iPhone to scan my unique HomeKit barcode on the inside of the box to get going and that’s it.
The product itself is defiantly a lot fancier than I’m used too, but still has traditional aspects of a door lock including the key hole. It’s made from metal, which appears to be stainless steel and is actually quite heavy – it’s got a secure-feeling, solid build, which I wasn’t disappointed with.
Integration With Apple Devices
Opening or locking the door is as simple as saying, “Hey Siri, open the front door…” After a few seconds, the door does its thing, completely automatically, and does what you asked Siri to do – Siri my virtual assistant told the product what to do and the interaction was seamless. It is fun – and a little hard to believe initially.
In fact, I didn’t even need the app to be opened to do it. After the initial setup Siri already learnt about the accessory, what type of accessory it was and knew it was my front door because I specified in set up which door it was. This means if I put one on my back door, I could separately specify it as being so and the devices can differentiate requests – for example, “Hey Siri, open the back door.”
“Hey Siri, open the front door.”
… “Okay, the front door is unlocked”.
The integration between my iPhone and the accessory is all thanks to HomeKit, which is built into iOS. HomeKit allows you to securely control your home from a number of devices, in this case a door lock from iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or even Apple Watch via apps and Siri. This is all done with end to end encryption, meaning no one will be able to hack into your door – it’s a requirement encryption is enabled with all HomeKit products.
It isn’t just limited to asking Siri to open or close the door; there are also a number of other smart features. These include the ability for me to add up to 30 codes, giving access to friends or family. I can also enable the door alarm, which will sense potential door break-ins, plus set an auto-locking feature in the event I walk out the front door without locking it.
Touchpad + Key
“What happens if your iPhone dies?”. It was the first question I got asked by a friend when I mentioned the product. Thankfully this isn’t an issue at all, Schlage has implemented a touch display, as well as the good old traditional key into the design of the lock.
In the event I arrive home late and my iPhone has a flat battery I can type my code into the door to gain access. The touchscreen lights up so it will be easily visible in the dark, it’s also finger print resistant and works in the rain.
If all else fails you can gain access by using a traditional key which is supplied.
Where To Buy
The Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt can be purchased from Apple Australia for A$399.95, Apple New Zealand for NZ$499.95 and Apple US for US$229.95 with free shipping, you can also choose from two different styles: Silver or Bronze.