My do-it-yourself smarthome system may be getting an upgrade with an Internet connected front door lock. Lockitron just caught my eye for a few reasons, but the main one is support for near-field communications or NFC. I already use the NFC chip in my Galaxy Nexus for wireless mobile payments and with the $295 Lockitron deadbolt system, I could wave my smartphone near the front door to unlock it. Here’s a look at how the system works:
While the NFC support is appealing to me, I also like that you can remotely unlock the door with a mobile app or by text message. That’s handy for when you need to let someone in the house or have a package dropped off inside. Of course, I wouldn’t open the door for just anyone; that’s why I have a web-connected camera too.
Installation of the Lockitron appears to be a snap as well because the lock doesn’t require any wiring for power or connectivity. Instead, 4 easy to replace AA batteries are used in the lock and it receives wireless commands over a home Wi-Fi network. Most other wireless locks I’ve investigated require some electricity rewiring, which I’m not looking to do. After installing the Lockitron, you simply connect a small server unit to the wireless router in your home.
Obviously if the lock’s batteries run out or your home loses electricity — and therefore, the wireless network — you can’t open the door with an app or text. In that case, you’ll still need a key, but I don’t mind carrying one around in my wallet. And for all of the services to work — key issuing, revoking, access from any internet connection — the lock must be in communication with Lockitron. However, the company is working on a software option that allows homeowners total management of the lock on their home network.