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UniKey-powered Kevo aims to make Apple's iPhone the ultimate secure wireless house key

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
UniKey on Wednesday announced the new Kwikset Kevo, a Bluetooth-connected deadbolt door lock that pairs with Apple's iPhone to make fumbling with house keys a thing of the past.

Kevo


UniKey Technologies Chief Executive Phil Dumas spoke with AppleInsider about the upcoming product, which is a result of a partnership between his company and lock maker Kwikset. The main feature of the Kevo powered by UniKey is its "eKey" functionality, which allows iPhone owners to use Bluetooth Low Energy to open their front door.

Having a wireless digital key opens a whole new world of possibilities, Dumas explained, including the ability to remotely and temporarily provide another iPhone user with an eKey. With this feature, users can grant a limited-time key to a maid or contractor, or more permanent access options to fellow family members or roommates."If you're going to break into this, you might as well break into a bank account." ? UniKey Technologies CEO Phil Dumas

These advanced features are important, Dumas said, because he believes the idea of a smartphone-enabled door lock will never catch on unless it's vastly superior to using a traditional key, all without sacrificing security. The UniKey system allows users to simply keep their iPhone in their pocket to gain authorized secure entry into their home.

"We put a big emphasis on elegance for people to overcome that issue of having a big and bulky door lock on their front door," he said.

Kevo


Using a UniKey product, an iPhone owner just taps on the exterior of the lock to gain access. The system, powered by four AA batteries that last over a year, scans to make sure an authorized iPhone is in range.

Users are notified that the door is unlocked by a flashing green light on the lock face. The system also supports traditional keys, and it includes a wireless keychain fob for non-iPhone users.Kwikset Kevo will be iPhone-only at launch, because of Apple's support for the Bluetooth 4.0 low-energy profile.

Dumas, who has appeared on ABC's "Shark Tank" to pitch his system, said UniKey decided to go iPhone-only at launch because of Apple's established support for the Bluetooth Low Energy profile. As a result, the Kwikset Kevo will be compatible with Apple's Bluetooth 4.0 mobile devices: the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, third- and fourth-generation iPads, iPad mini, and fifth-generation iPod touch.

"Apple is just so much further along with their low energy protocol," he said.

From the company's description, UniKey is a well thought out product. For example, the system is said to know whether the user holding an authorized iPhone is inside or outside of the door. This way, they won't accidentally unlock the door by walking up to it to see who's knocking.

Kevo


The UniKey system also treats a user's iPhone as a physical key, which means multiple phones can't be logged into the account at the same time. If users lose their phone and log into another device, the lost phone's key access will automatically be revoked.

The deadbolt can also be locked with a series of taps even if an authorized smartphone isn't present, allowing visitors to easily lock the front door when letting themselves out of your home.

The Kevo also has support for Kwikset smart key technology, which allows users to re-key the new deadbolt to their old physical key. And the system is backed by what Dumas said is "military-grade encryption" for its wireless entry.

"If you're going to break into this, you might as well break into a bank account," he said.

Kwikset and UniKey have not yet determined the final pricing of the Kevo, but officials expect it to retail for under $250. Preorders for the device will begin in mid-June, and the product is on schedule to ship this summer. Details can be found at the official Kwikset site.
post #2 of 67

Whole-home automation using Z-wave technology, including Internet control of lights, sensors and door locks, seems far more interesting to me.

 

wow, what an advertising blitz kwikset has paid for. several mac sites, wired, ...


Edited by Cpsro - 5/8/13 at 1:51pm
post #3 of 67
It's a good first step, but I wouldn't want this on my door just yet. Just too many unknown variables to deal with. It has to be rock-solid reliable. In the end, it just won't be as reliable as some dedicated key.

Your door won't open? Is your iPhone battery dead? Do you have bluetooth turned on? Did you get a new phone? Where's my lock manual so I can reprogram it to accept a new phone or delete a phone because my other one got stolen?

We own apartment buildings with smart-locks and as reliable as that is, it still requires some minimal technical knowledge to set these up and administer them. I'm always looking for more modern alternatives and I see a whole world of problems with these. It would be great if these locks can provide a kind of entry logging so that a landlord can monitor who is entering their property and what user entered.

Good first try though. I'm going to keep my eyes on these guys and see what the first-time users think.
post #4 of 67
Looks nice, but I'd really like the option to not have that bumpable cylinder in there, should I so desire.
post #5 of 67
want
post #6 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

... Your door won't open? Is your iPhone battery dead? Do you have bluetooth turned on? Did you get a new phone? Where's my lock manual so I can reprogram it to accept a new phone or delete a phone because my other one got stolen? ...

 

There is the physical key bypass though that counters all of those issues.  Also, this seems more for the end-user consumer.  Your requirements as a landlord of many apartments are not the same as the target group.  

post #7 of 67
It's either gonna be this Unikey, Lockitron or Poly Control for me. Who ever ships a workable solution that is easy to install. Zigbee would be a plus because I eventually want to control my lights (Hue) thermostat (Nest ..eventually) and locks through a common Home Automation tool. Cameras too but I haven't found one I really like.
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post #8 of 67

The one thing I see as an immediate problem is the need to replace the batteries.

 

I used to have an electronic key lock on my door, and had to punch in the code to get in.  But when the batteries went dead, I was locked out.  Of course I could have just used my key, but if I have to carry my key around just in case, what's the point?

 

A solution to this problem would be to incorporate a small solar charging panel, either inside or outside.  If the batteries alone will last a year, trickle charging with a solar panel seems like an obvious answer.  Now, if I can get many years out of it before the batteries give up, that's a better solution.

post #9 of 67

This is where NFC would be great. Oops, the iPhone does not have NFC!

post #10 of 67

Surely it doesn't glow all the time?  Other than that I'm geeking out over it.  Not as cool as Nest, but still cool.

post #11 of 67
I am totally buying this.

And to the above guys - "changing batteries"... after a year? big deal.
"NFC"... it's bluetooth. You simply have the phone in your pocket - walk up, touch the lock and it unlocks.
If you don't have a compatible phone - it comes with a fob for your key chain.


I WANT!!!
post #12 of 67

Not a single story will inevitably be written about wardriving these locks. 

post #13 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Jojade View Post

I used to have an electronic key lock on my door, and had to punch in the code to get in.  But when the batteries went dead, I was locked out.  Of course I could have just used my key, but if I have to carry my key around just in case, what's the point?

 

The point is ease of opening without having to use the key you might be carrying.

 

I recently installed an electronic lock, and we love it, because my daughter doesn't have to carry a key (so we stopped having to hide a spare nearby, thank goodness).  Plus we can get in more easily even with stuff in our arms.

 

However, yes, we keep a real key on my and my wife's automobile keychains as a backup.   Of course, we live in the country, so we usually have a car keychain on one of us when we go out.   City dwellers would be a different case.

 

As for this device, I've always said I'd like to have a cell phone key for the door.  Nowadays, I think it would have to also have a keypad, for max utility for me.

 

PS. I do like your idea of a photocell backup. 

post #14 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NelsonX View Post

This is where NFC would be great. Oops, the iPhone does not have NFC!

 

What's the difference if it uses Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi Direct, or one of the other multitude of wireless auto-discovery protocols?  As long as it works reliably and doesn't drain the battery, nobody really cares.

 
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post #15 of 67
The unlock sounds like it is using your Bluetooth MAC address as the key. If so, no way in hell this would be on my front door.
post #16 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

 

What's the difference if it uses Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi Direct, or one of the other multitude of wireless auto-discovery protocols?  As long as it works reliably and doesn't drain the battery, nobody really cares.

I agree... I want it to work no matter what tech it uses.....

 

But I wonder what happens if your phone gets stolen? The phone would have all of your conact info including your address. Could it be a security risk I wonder?

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post #17 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NelsonX View Post

This is where NFC would be great. Oops, the iPhone does not have NFC!

 

Actually Bluetooth 4 is far more secure than NFC from what I've heard. 

post #18 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

It's a good first step, but I wouldn't want this on my door just yet. Just too many unknown variables to deal with. It has to be rock-solid reliable. In the end, it just won't be as reliable as some dedicated key.

Your door won't open? Is your iPhone battery dead? Do you have bluetooth turned on? Did you get a new phone? Where's my lock manual so I can reprogram it to accept a new phone or delete a phone because my other one got stolen?

We own apartment buildings with smart-locks and as reliable as that is, it still requires some minimal technical knowledge to set these up and administer them. I'm always looking for more modern alternatives and I see a whole world of problems with these. It would be great if these locks can provide a kind of entry logging so that a landlord can monitor who is entering their property and what user entered.

Good first try though. I'm going to keep my eyes on these guys and see what the first-time users think.

 

 

If you don't know how to use a smart phone, you probably should not be installing a smart lock! 

 

Reliable as dedicated keys? Ever hear of lock bumping? 

post #19 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NelsonX View Post

This is where NFC would be great. Oops, the iPhone does not have NFC!

 

There is where bluetooth would be great. Oh, the iPhone does have very energy efficient bluetooth, great! 

post #20 of 67

Looks pretty cool, and I will investigate. $250 seems a little steep. There are some other alternatives out there for sure, but what attracted me was that this one seems to fit into the existing bolt hole I already have. Nothing on the Kevo site about installation though. Dorking around getting this onto the door is the biggest challenge.

 

I presume the inside side has a "disable" function. There's some verbiabge about knowing what side of the door you're on with your phone, but I presume they know that people want to be able to simply disable the system with a flick of the hard switch/bolt. Dunno how close the phone has to be to unlock. I presume when you walk away it relocks? Contractors and babysitters are going to forget.

post #21 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Jojade View Post

The one thing I see as an immediate problem is the need to replace the batteries.

 

I used to have an electronic key lock on my door, and had to punch in the code to get in.  But when the batteries went dead, I was locked out.  Of course I could have just used my key, but if I have to carry my key around just in case, what's the point?

 

A solution to this problem would be to incorporate a small solar charging panel, either inside or outside.  If the batteries alone will last a year, trickle charging with a solar panel seems like an obvious answer.  Now, if I can get many years out of it before the batteries give up, that's a better solution.

 

The point could be not to have to carry keys, but I think it is so you don't have to fumble for them. The app will tell you the charge of the battery so it comes down to not be too lazy to change them. This coming from a guy who only changes his keyboard batters when I can no longer use it :P 

post #22 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

Looks pretty cool, and I will investigate. $250 seems a little steep. There are some other alternatives out there for sure, but what attracted me was that this one seems to fit into the existing bolt hole I already have. Nothing on the Kevo site about installation though. Dorking around getting this onto the door is the biggest challenge.

 

I presume the inside side has a "disable" function. There's some verbiabge about knowing what side of the door you're on with your phone, but I presume they know that people want to be able to simply disable the system with a flick of the hard switch/bolt. Dunno how close the phone has to be to unlock. I presume when you walk away it relocks? Contractors and babysitters are going to forget.

 

I think the inside disable is more so when you walk up to the door to see who is at it and they are tapping on the lock attempting to unlock it, the system won't 'see' your phone and unlock the door, letting the intruder (read noisy neighbor) inside. 

post #23 of 67
As long as there is still a keyhole, it can be (easily) picked. I want a lock that can't be picked, but I also don't want to be locked out of my home when the battery dies or a capacitor blows.

When I was in Korea, I noticed that almost all apartment locks are digital only.
post #24 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

 

I think the inside disable is more so when you walk up to the door to see who is at it and they are tapping on the lock attempting to unlock it, the system won't 'see' your phone and unlock the door, letting the intruder (read noisy neighbor) inside. 


Yes...

 

One guy above posted about Lockitron - I love the concept of Lockitron. (Push notifications when your lock is locked or unlocked, also a knocking sensor that sends you a notification that someone is knocking at your door) THAT is awesome.

However, this comment is exactly what I am curious about with Lockitron. I wouldn't want someone outside being able to open while I was on the inside... That may be a problem for Lockitron.

post #25 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

I agree... I want it to work no matter what tech it uses.....

 

But I wonder what happens if your phone gets stolen? The phone would have all of your conact info including your address. Could it be a security risk I wonder?

 

Here's the answer from the Web site:

 

What happens if I lose my phone?

Simply log into the Kevo app on another smartphone or into the Kevo web portal and disable or delete any eKeys associated with the lock. You will need to use your Kevo Fob or the standard key to unlock the lock until you retrieve or replace your phone.

 

 

What I don't get is this:  I have 2 locks (same key) on my door, the handle lock and a deadbolt.  Are they planning to sell coordinated systems?  Without that, this wouldn't work for me and my door (which is the most commet setup, no?).


Edited by malax - 5/8/13 at 1:03pm
post #26 of 67
Where I live this would be no better than a standard deadbolt. A size 12 shoe takes out the area surrounding the lock or the door frame easier than any bluetooth hack.
post #27 of 67
Is this a better lock than what they use in a Master Security Door? Kwikset locks aren't that difficult to pick. The Master Security Doors are the laser cut keys, which are supposed to be more difficult.
post #28 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

 

I imagine it's a simple matter of canceling that phone from the list of allowable devices.  But I wonder how you do that?  What's the UI for configuring the lock?

 

What I don't get is this:  I have 2 locks (same key) on my door, the handle lock and a deadbolt.  Are they planning to sell coordinated systems?  Without that, this wouldn't work for me and my door (which is the most commet setup, no?).

 

Yeah, it would be great to have a link to ask a few questions.

Or if you and your better half can have access on multiple devices (probably)

post #29 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NelsonX View Post

This is where NFC would be great. Oops, the iPhone does not have NFC!

I thought those NFC phones had hacks.  I think Charlie MIller came out with one or exposed a NFC hack.

post #30 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Is this a better lock than what they use in a Master Security Door? Kwikset locks aren't that difficult to pick. The Master Security Doors are the laser cut keys, which are supposed to be more difficult.

 

If someone is going to break in, they will just kick the door in.

 

Thats one reason I like the Lockitron sending notifications. At least if they kicked the door in, you'd get a knock notification as an alert.

 

Hope Kwikset at least adds these features in!!!!

post #31 of 67
And what if, when I'm home, my fob or iPhone is sitting close enough to one of these locks to still show their "presence"? My kitchen (where my keys sit and iPhones charge) is less than 20 feet from the door.

I'm sorry, but I'm not buying that their technology can perfectly tell which side of the door it's on 100% of the time.

Hey, Mr. Robber, just tap the lock and come on in!
Edited by tikiman - 5/8/13 at 1:18pm
post #32 of 67

There was a funny quote from long ago: "Locks are for honest people." I simply lock my house and doors to deter the causal spur of the moment intruder - the kid with nothing better to do, or someone simply unprepared to use force. This kind of system fits the bill. Honestly, if an evil doer is going to pick my lock, s/he has come prepared, and I'd rather they simply enter, steal, and get the hell out doing as little damage as necessary. This is why I pay insurance premium.

 

Yeah, yeah, this will quickly degrade into a second amendment argument, and I have no interest in doing that here.

post #33 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brunzilla View Post

 

If someone is going to break in, they will just kick the door in.

 

Thats one reason I like the Lockitron sending notifications. At least if they kicked the door in, you'd get a knock notification as an alert.

 

Hope Kwikset at least adds these features in!!!!

My sense is that the lock itself isn't internet enabled (or they would tout that), so I don't think it could do this.

post #34 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tikiman View Post

And what if, when I'm home, my fob or iPhone is sitting close enough to one of these locks to still show their "presence"? My kitchen (where my keys sit and iPhones charge) is less than 20 feet from the door.

I'm sorry, but I'm not buying that their technology can perfectly tell which side of the door it's on 100% of the time.

Hey, Mr. Robber, just tap the lock and come on in!

Spoken like a person who has never used NFC

post #35 of 67
However this is the future, I can't imagine how this is going to make Internet hacking a more used thing than verses uh, picking a lock, people stealing pictures just sync there devices and delete all, /s
post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexmit View Post

Where I live this would be no better than a standard deadbolt. A size 12 shoe takes out the area surrounding the lock or the door frame easier than any bluetooth hack.

Not if you have a full metal door and a stone door frame. Of course smashing a window is still an option (unless you install security glass on all your windows.

post #37 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

My sense is that the lock itself isn't internet enabled (or they would tout that), so I don't think it could do this.


That's how I understand it as well.

post #38 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The Kevo also has support for Kwikset smart key technology, which allows users to re-key the new deadbolt to their old physical key. And the system is backed by what Dumas said is "military-grade encryption" for its wireless entry.

"If you're going to break into this, you might as well break into a bank account," he said.

 

1rolleyes.gif

 

This is just another tumbler lock and any thief with a bump key can be inside in a matter of seconds, hacking not required.

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post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Whole-home automation using Z-wave technology, including Internet control of lights, sensors and door locks, seems far more interesting to me.

 

wow, what an advertising blitz kwikset has paid for. several mac sites, wired, ...

 

Eh, seems way overpriced and kind of dodgy technology to me.  

 

It doesn't say what the underlying tech is but implies rather strongly that it's basically Wi-Fi.  So access to your home network (not hard to do), compromises your door lock (as well as everything else in your house).  

 

Also their doorlock is some kind of ridiculous touch-screen thingie.  I'd rather have a regular doorlock like this in a standard size with a key for when it breaks down than some whiz-bang technology that is poorly explained, overpriced and impenetrable to the end user.  

post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

 

1rolleyes.gif

 

This is just another tumbler lock and any thief with a bump key can be inside in a matter of seconds, hacking not required.

 

1) Thieves generally only have "bump keys" in movies.  

 

2) This is true of the lock it replaces also.

 

You're assuming that this is some kind of high-security technology when it's clearly described as simply a regular lock with a few extra features that make it better.  On that level, it seems like a great success to me.  You pull out the old lock, put this one in and 'boom' ... better lock.  

 

Is it something the CIA should use to lock up their Heroin?  No.  It's just a better lock.  


Edited by Gazoobee - 5/8/13 at 4:27pm
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