Popular Canadian lock, deadbolt and security manufacturer Weiser has begun selling its UniKey-powered Kevo brand smart door lock in Canada.
Initially marketed under the Kwikset brand in the U.S., UniKey’s Kevo technology adds Bluetooth 4.0 support to traditional deadbolt locks, such as those found in most houses today, allowing users to open them with an Android or iOS smartphone, or via an optional key fob.
While only recently adding Android support — it begun testing late last year and rolled out to the public in the past couple of weeks — UniKey has been selling its technology to popular lock manufacturers around the world to grow smart home technology in local markets. When it comes to security, the company says, it’s safer to sell a white label version of a technology to a trusted product brand than try to go it alone.
The actual lock mechanism uses strong encryption to ensure it cannot be tripped by competing Bluetooth signals — say, another Kevo user — and the lock still comes with its own set of keys for when analog is good enough. New to the platform, however, is the ability to issue time-sensitive eKeys, a technology that we’ve spoken about before. Home owners, for instance, can issue temporary access to the Kevo lock through a smartphone that cannot be shared or altered once sent. This ensures that only the person in possession of the smartphone — and with the correct password — can open the door remotely.
Weiser and UniKey promise that the regular use case is the simplest: with the smartphone in one’s pocket, all they have to do is tap the blue ring around the lock itself. The constant Bluetooth 4.0 LE connection to the smartphone silently authenticates the user to let them in.
Weiser’s version of the Kevo is available from hardware and technology stores, like Best Buy, Future Shop, Home Depot, Lowe’s and others, for $249.99 CDN.