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Smart locks are the next big thing in the world of home automation.
And the latest update to the Yale Smart Lock is truly forward thinking.
Yale Locks & Hardware announced yesterday that you will now be able to unlock their smart deadbolt locks with a simple voice command, facilitated by Amazon Alexa.
If that sounds a little insecure to you, fear not — before you can start using this update, you’ll need to set a four to eight digit pin number. Once set, you’ll be able to speak the pin number out loud to your Alexa device, which will trigger the unlocking process.
In order to take advantage of this new technology, you’ll need the Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen Deadbolt with ZigBee as well as a compatible smart home hub, like the Amazon Echo. Other hubs, like Samsung SmartThings, will also be able to offer this update.
There’s already an Alexa skill which allows Yale Smart Lock owners to lock their deadbolts using just a voice command, but this unlock feature is brand new.
Jason Williams, president of the company that owns Yale Residential explained the motivation behind the update, saying that, “Yale is committed to providing consumers with the smart home technology they want most, and the message from consumers is loud and clear – they want voice control.
“With the addition of the Alexa unlock feature our locks now allow consumers to secure their homes and enter them using simple voice commands, delivering a new level of convenience without any compromise on security.”
Of course, security will be the major issue on everyone’s minds with this latest development, and consumers will likely be relieved to hear that this new feature requires an opt-in through the Amazon Alexa app, which will also be where you set your four to eight digit pin number if you do decide to opt in.
As Tech Radar have pointed out, the lack of detail regarding security features in the Yale press release on this development is unfortunate. We’re sure we’re not the only home owners who’ll be deciding to wait and see how other homes fare with this technology before we opt in ourselves.
Yale have long proven that they’re playing at the top of the league when it comes to smart home technology with their deadbolt locks.
Earlier this year, at CES 2018, they announced a partnership with home automation wizard Nest with the introduction of the Nest x Yale Lock.
This key-free deadbolt connects with a whole suite of Nest devices — including burglar alarms, security cameras and video doorbells — to add a well-developed layer of additional home security.
Unfortunately, the Amazon Alexa integration isn’t available for the Nest x Yale Lock, although there are rumors that Google Assistant support is coming soon.
How do you feel about unlocking your home with just your voice?