CES 2020: Hands on with August Wi-Fi Smart Lock with HomeKit
At the 2020 CES, August and Yale parent company Assa Abloy are debuting a large lineup of new HomeKit-enabled devices, including a new flagship August smart lock that addresses consumer's most frequent comments.
The new August Wi-Fi Smart Lock has all the same functionality as the previous generation August Smart Lock Pro + Connect, but negates the need for the external Connect Wi-Fi module — Wi-Fi is integrated directly into the lock itself. Not only that, bu the new model is 45% smaller than the current August Smart Lock Pro design and 20% slimmer.
AppleInsider had a chance to go hands-on with the product during the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
As August was quick to point out, the new August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is now roughly the same size as a doorknob, which inherently makes it more clear the device can be turned. To further reinforce that psychological idea, the knurling on the outside has been replaced by a new pattern that appears more "turnable."
The open/close designator is more clear as well, sticking out more prominently from the side and inlaid with a glossy contrasting logo.
To change the battery, which August says will last a year with ten actuations a day, users just press on the August "a" logo on the lower front. Instead of AA batteries, the new model runs on the slightly more scarce CR123A size. These are a bit harder to find, which is why they have an Amazon Alexa feature that lets you know when the battery is low and will automatically reorder them for you.
The lock felt great when we tested it out, retaining the same high-quality we've come to expect from August locks.
August says that the number one complaint was that the locks looked too bulky, followed by the need to plug in the Connect module. With August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, both of those are rectified.
While August has done most of the underlying tech in the rest of the lineup we saw, they were branded under the Yale name rather than August. Users can use either the August app or Yale app to control them.
The new products by Yale are storage-focused, largely new territory for HomeKit.
The first release is a smart safe that can be controlled entirely via the app or HomeKit as well as through the keypad on the front of the lock. The app is able to tell you who accessed the lock and when based on the passcode used.
We also saw a new cabinet lock. It is a small brick that is mounted inside of the cabinet itself to manage access to contents. This is great to protect any valuables, breakable items, alcohol, and the like. As a safety precaution, the cabinet lock can be disengaged from the inside should a child ever get trapped and locked inside.
And for those concerned about porch pirates, Yale has partnered with Step 2 to create a new locking delivery box. The box is solid, can be weighed down with sand, bolted to cement, or chained to the porch. The Yale smart locking mechanism is mounted on the inside and looks very similar to the above cabinet lock.
After a delivery, users will get an alert that a package was dropped off and the box will lock after the package was put inside. The user can then remotely unlock the box if an additional delivery is expected, or it can work with a keypad so delivery workers can get access themselves as necessary while protecting the contents.
All of the new August and Yale products are slated to ship in 2020.
Stay tuned to AppleInsider for additonal CES 2020 coverage.