Just Say 'Open Sesame:' There's an IoT Device for That!

It's a dark and gloomy night.

You walk up a dimly lit path to a door, say "open sesame" and it magically opens.

No key. No pass code. Just you and the door.

Well, it may not be as simple as that, but the new Kevo Smart Lock from Kwikset ($219) comes pretty close.

This new IoT (Internet of Things) device is able to "recognize" authorized key holders via their smartphones or through the use of a programmed key fob. Or, if you want to go "old school," you can simply insert a key in the lock and enter the old fashioned way.

Installation of the Kevo was fairly simple, although we did install a part or two upside down and had to start all over again. But, if installation instructions are strictly followed, the door lock can be installed and running in about 15 minutes.

Once the lock recognized the fob, which is basically a small piece of plastic with a chip inside it, it whirred and clicked and we were able to open the door.

We also tried using it with a so-called "eKey," which communicates with the lock using a smartphone, a Kevo app and bluetooth. Actually, it's the eKey that makes this a bit different than other smart locks we've played with.

Once the Kevo app is installed on your phone, you can authorize friends and family members (even a pet-sitter) to enter your house, plus you can set up different parameters for each key limiting the days and times they can be used. The eKeys can also be disabled, preventing them from being used.

All an authorized user has to do is approach the door, touch the lock and - - - open sesame. The authorized user just needs to have a smartphone containing the eKey app with him/her. The app runs in the background so, technically, it's always active.

The lock can also use the same technology to sense whether you are inside or outside your house, preventing unauthorized entry when it detects the user is home.

Other key features include:

  • The lock can communicate with a Nest thermostat and reset the temperature when you leave or enter your house
  • The ability to reassign eKeys from one person to another
  • The eKeys never expire
  • You can set up an unlimited number of "guest" eKeys
  • You can temporarily disable or remove any user from the eKey system
  • The app works with Apple and Android devices (using Android Lollipop version 5.0 or later)
  • The lock system uses four AAA batteries
  • If an eKey or the fob fails to work, you can simply use a key that comes with the smart lock
  • You can order addition fobs programmed to work only with your smart lock

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