Smart lock systems are one of those inventions that sound like more trouble than they’re worth, but when done right, they’re a boon to anyone who shares an apartment or home, either for Airbnb or lending a beach house to visiting friends. The August Smart Lock, now available in Apple stores, is a well-designed and highly functional option.
Why consider the August over competitors like Lockitron or Goji? Yves Behar, the man behind the Jawbone Jambox speaker and the Jawbone UP, designed the August. The result is something that looks like the future, but is subtle enough not to distract from a door’s wood grain.
Apple announced the August would be among the first devices to work with their forthcoming iOS 8 HomeKit system. That means the stakes are high enough for the designers and programmers to deliver something that’s seamlessly functional and actually pretty.
The lock system works by using a device like an iPhone as a malleable and remote key. As the owner of the August, for example, you can be miles from home and unlock the front door for a repairman. Proximity sensors inside the device can also unlock the door for you as you approach.
Besides iOS 8 and iPhone integration, August is compatible with Android devices, as well. They have just started taking orders, with the first round of shipments coming in October 2014. You can buy it now for $199, or wait until then for the $249 retail price.