Unlock Front Door with Smart Phone

By | March 24, 2012 at 4:00 am | No comments | Home Security | Tags: , ,

Hey Bubbas, check this out:

There are lots of new wireless gadgets and technologies to operate deadbolt locks, one of the easiest to set up and start using is a system that will lock or unlock your door with a smart phone.  Over at Lockitron, they’ve got a pretty tight little system that puts your house key right into your phone.  It works on most door lock styles, and the main requirement is that you have a pretty Unlock the Front Door with Smartphonesolid internet connection and an internet connected smart phone.

Lockitron works by sending a signal from your phone through our servers to a small device that plugs into your internet router. This in turn talks to your door telling it to lock or unlock. Lockitron is compatible with the most popular lock styles. You can order a Lockitron Self-Install Kit for your through-hole deadbolt, door knob or door handle. We offer several finishes to best match your current hardware.

Their lock kits start at around $300, and include:

  • Lockitron base-station
  • USB remote fob
  • Deadbolt or door knob/handle unit
  • Installation instructions
  • Power cable, ethernet cable, plates, screws and screw-driver

This is a convenient way to manage a home, or even vacation home with lots of comings and goings of relatives and guests or contractors that need short term access. It doesn’t get much simpler. The installation instructions are provided, and they offer good support. If your door is a mess, as in – out of frame, has a misaligned strike plate, or shifts out of square depending on humidity and temperature – then it will be tough to get good results. These small lock motors won’t be able to force that deadbolt through.  The transmitter fob will also need to be relatively close to the lock, so your internet router that it’s plugged into will have to be fairly close, or you can buy a USB or ethernet extension to get the base station or fob closer. (they recommend 15′ from lock to their device).  The only other cautions: these work better on wood, not metal doors. Hitting the unlock/lock command on the web takes about 1.5 – 2 seconds to unlock the door, add another 3 or 4 seconds if you use a smartphone app to control it.  Final word: you do need a live (not temporarily down!) internet connection for this to work. If you have frequent internet problems, this won’t be a good idea, although a physical key will still open the lock.

In short, well thought out little system, with some particular caveats for some users. It’s not part of a “whole house” system, so this is the only device you’ll have to worry about. If you were just looking for a quick and easy way to lose another key off the key ring and unlock your front door with your smart phone, this may be just what the locksmith ordered.

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