Oh connected home fans, this summer is going to be the summer of your dreams, although it may lead to the winter of your discontent. We’ll have to see how those Kickstarter and Indigogo campaigns pan out and deliver. Anyhow, this week another connected lock is launching, this one called the Goji lock. It joins the Lockitron lock and the August lock that launched last week, as well as connected locks from more traditional vendors.
Like the August lock, the Goji lock is beautiful (they look almost exactly the same, except the Gojo lock has an LED screen and a camera embedded in there), but this lock works on both the home Wi-Fi network and uses Bluetooth Low Energy for connecting to the home and your smartphone. The idea behind Goji is that by using your smartphone plus the Goji service as a key, you gain more flexibility to let people into your home. The Wi-Fi lets you control the lock remotely from the internet and lets people without Bluetooth Low Energy on their handsets to still use the lock.
You can send a digital key to visitors as well as set times that certain people access your home. The lock has a variety of security features, as well as antennas on both sides of the door, which means that if you are approaching your door from the inside (say if someone rings the doorbell) it won’t unlock. The Goji lock also offers programmable fobs that can lock and unlock doors for those who don’t carry a mobile phone (like my six-year-old.)
The Goji lock also has differences, such as a $278 price tag. The Locktron is $179 and the August lock will retail for “under $200″ according to its founder. I just bought a Z-wave enabled lock for $185. But that makes sense given it also has Wi-Fi, plus that embedded camera. The camera snaps a picture of anyone who walks in your front door, helping add a layer of authentication above and beyond you sending them access via a smartphone key.
Gabriel Bestard-Ribas, the CEO of Goji says that the camera feature was really important to users, and believes that it will help people get comfortable with the idea of a granting access electronically to their homes instead of the traditional key. To help assuage concerns Goji also has a 24/7 call center set up to handle access issues, lost keys or other worries. That, too, might be why the lock is so much more expensive.
Like most connected locks this one is purportedly easy to install, with Bestard-Ribas saying that the addition of a wire to connect both halves of the lock might add a few more minutes to the general 10-minute install time for a lock. The lock is expected in December, around the same time as the August lock, and people can pre-order it using Indigogo. For those who want a lock a little sooner, Lockitrons start shipping in July.