Apple starts selling Level Lock +, unlock by clicking on iPhone
Apple stores in the US now sell an external door lock that can be opened by the user’s Apple Watch or iPhone. Level Lock $329 + It is the first Home Key powered lock sold in Apple Stores.
When Level Lock+, made by Level Home, is installed in the door, users can unlock and re-lock their homes with a single click using the Apple Home key, a feature that uses NFC and secure codes in Apple software. Users can send text messages to their friends or auto play when the door is locked.
For Apple, this is a milestone in the development of a highly anticipated feature that was first announced in 2021. The Home Key is an example of Apple continuing to digitize things normally carried in a wallet or pocket, from cash to keys.
Several new Apple software features in recent years aim to make the iPhone more valuable to users to prevent them from switching to other phone brands. A user whose front door is tightly integrated with their phone may be less likely to switch to an Android phone.
Some of Apple’s newer initiatives, particularly its smart home ambitions, require extensive support for third-party hardware or systems in order to function. But compared to features in iOS updates where Apple controls hardware and software, these new integrations can take longer to become widely available.
In addition to Home Key, Apple has Advertise the car keywhich unlocks cars supported by BMW and Hyundai, and room key, which puts hotel keys from chains like Hyatt into the Apple Wallet app. Apple’s iPhone integrates more deeply with vehicles through CarPlay, and expanding financial services to its users with Goldman Sachs.
For Level, it’s an opportunity to stand out as a tech company in a market dominated by a few big and older lock makers, by offering a software feature that’s been in high demand by an essential subset of smart home enthusiasts.
“There’s a question being asked right now in that category,” Level CEO John Martin told CNBC. “The question is, is a smart lock a consumer electronic device? Or is it a traditional lock that is now smart?”
Smart home enthusiasts may simply be excited by the new home key lock option. Since the Home Key debuted in 2021, there has only been one supported lock model for sale in the US, The Schlage Encode Plus. Smart home enthusiasts on forums like Reddit have speculated at length about which companies might be releasing additional Home Key devices over the past year.
The high level of Apple consumers’ desire for a new Home Key lock has been revealed after journalists and users were able to purchase or locate the Level Lock+ in some Apple stores after they mistakenly put it up for sale early in some locations over the past week.
Martin said the company immediately noticed Blog posts and social media hustle about his new lock.
“[Andrew] Samson, who is our chief marketing officer, ex-Nike guy. Martin said it was great. And he said to me at night like, “Oh my God, we’re heading!”
Some people on the forums will be disappointed to hear that Level won’t update firmware on their old locks to support Home Key. To support Home Key, users will need Level Lock + sold in Apple stores or online.
“We are not planning to update the firmware for Touch,” Martin said. “We needed to invent the core part of the technology inside the product to support the master switches in a way that would have been top notch.”
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