The Nuki Smart Lock has hit version two, and it’s coming with Siri support and more door compatibility, because that’s a thing.
Smart speakers, lightbulbs, and security cameras may be at the forefront of what constitutes the change for homes becoming “smart homes”, but they’re not the only gadgets that can bring households into the web era. With smart doorbells being a thing since Ring first launched them in 2016, the next place to innovate is clearly the lock itself, and there’s clearly movement there.
The “smart lock” may well be a new category, but it’s one set to grow, and there’s little surprise as to why: your phone is already the one major gadget tool you rely on for communication, surfing the web, music, and probably your camera, so it makes sense if it fills the gap for other important things in your life.
You don’t need to bring your wallet anymore because of mobile payments, and the introduction of a digital driver’s license means the wallet is really beginning to disappear. We’re also seeing phones replace car keys, something BMW has recently introduced with app-connected engine starts, and that the next version of the iPhone’s operating system, iOS 14, will bring iPhone-based car keys to more phones around the world.
So what’s next? Your door key.
Having the phone replace that means leaving the house for a walk might be as simple as making sure you have your phone on you, because it can fill that gap, too. The smart lock makes this possible, and means that to open your front door, you just need your phone and its unique ID. It doesn’t mean anyone else with a phone can unlock it, either, because while many of us have phones that look the same, they don’t have the same apps or device information on them, so a friend’s phone won’t unlock your smart door unless you let them.
However to make it work, you need a smart lock, and that’s an area that is growing. While they first launched in Australia a good five years ago, they kind of stalled, and are now growing again. It’s an area Samsung has started pushing for locally, while newer player Nuki launched last year, and is back with a second model with a little more compatibility for doors.
While regular smart locks typically focus on replacing the lock barrel entirely, Nuki’s approach is a little more renter friendly, while being faster for the DIY job at home: the Nuki Smart Lock sits on the back of a standard door lock, complete with the key inside. All that happens is the motor inside turns the key in place, rather than needing to replace the lock with an electronic version.
It means the install is technically an easier job, as you’re merely mounting an electronic motor to the lock itself, and won’t need a locksmith or someone who understands doors to install the system.
Powered by four AA batteries, version two of the Smart Lock can fit more variety of door locks, and uses Bluetooth to talk to devices, not to mention being abler to play with smart assistants. Last year’s model, the Smart Lock 1.0, could talk to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, while this year’s Smart Lock 2.0 can play with Siri via Apple HomeKit, and even use a Nuki Door Sensor to find out whether the door is open remotely, just in case you forgot to close it.
The door lock can also be said to automatically unlock based on a schedule — say the kids coming home from school — or even triggered by other things, able to be programmed by a routine made for Alexa or one from Google.
Depending on what else you have in your smart home, it might be possible to have the door unlock based on a series of actions from other things in your life, such as the alarm going off in the morning, the news being read by your smart speaker, the coffee being made from a smart coffee machine (yep, they exist), and the door unlocking so you can enjoy the sunlight in the morning.
Locally, Nuki’s Smart Lock 2.0 can be found as an upgrade for $419, though if you’re new to the system, you’ll need the Nuki Bridge, which is optional at $199, or sold as part of a combo with the Smart Lock at $549. Australian availability for the Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 sees it at JB HiFi, MacGear, and Amazon.