August shot to prominence with the release of its debut smart lock late last year, but now the company has a new one – and it supports Apple’s voice-activated assistant, Siri.
Alongside the new smart lock, August also showed off a new doorbell with a camera, but that wasn’t the most interesting announcement from the company that launched its first product a little over a year ago.
August is hoping to transform its smart lock into a platform for developers and other businesses – allowing users to give temporary access to their home for things like parcel deliveries.
The service is being dubbed ‘August Access’ with co-founder and CEO Jason Johnson describing it as a “third-party access management system.”
So what does this mean for the average user?
Well for those in the US, August is partnering with several other companies to integrate their Apps into the August smart lock App; partners at launch include Sears, Postmates, Pro.com, Handy, Fetch! Pet Care, Shyp, BloomNation, Envoy, Rinse, HelloAlfred, Wag!, Pillow and Doorman.
With August Access users will be able to leave their home but still give temporary access to people delivering their post, cleaning their house or even repairing their washing machine – without handing over a permanent key.
The companies partnering with August will tap into the smart lock’s API and will be able to schedule appointments with consumers to gain access into their homes when needed.
August imagines a future where users ‘come home to a sparkling clean house, with the pesky leak under the sink fixed, groceries delivered and in the fridge and the dog walked’, but some will likely still have security concerns.
While August is trying to give users the ability to control who accesses their home – whether or not anyone will allow strangers into their home while they’re out is another matter.
August says the system is secure and users will be able to track who is in their home at any given time.
August Access will be available to both new and existing August smart lock owners, although those who buy the new August smart lock will get a future features that existing ones won’t.
Despite an almost identical design – with the exception of a metal ridge that indicates whether it’s in the locked or unlocked position – August has updated its smart lock with all new internals.
One of the biggest changes inside is the new Broadcom chipset, which enables Apple’s HomeKit smart platform.
With HomeKit iPhone users can control their smart home using Siri – and August is no exception. Users will be able to unlock and lock their doors simply by telling Siri to do it.
Android users will still be able to use the August Smart Lock, although they will be forced to manually unlock the door using the App, rather than with their voice.
Also new with August’s smart lock is the price – it’s now $20 (£12) cheaper, costing $229 (£147), thanks to the decision to switch manufacturing to China.
Users who want to own an August smart lock but don’t want to use the App will now also have a way of smartly controlling the lock – as the company has announced a keypad accessory.
August says that the keypad is ideal for those renting out their homes as it means users can simply email or SMS an unlock code to guests, without forcing them to download the August App or have a physical key.
Finally, August is also preparing to take on the likes of Ring and SkyBell with its very own Wi-Fi equipped doorbell camera.
The camera wires into to an existing doorbell plate and captures HD video clips of people approaching the door.
Using motion sensors August is able to detect when someone is approaching the door and send a notification to the user’s smartphone; the company claims that the camera can detect the difference between those passing by, animals and someone actually approaching.
August is hoping that people will utilise the camera-equipped doorbell alongside the smart lock.
For instance, when a user gets a notification that someone is at the door, they can then look in on that person. If it’s the postman and they want him to drop off the package inside – the user can then open the door without moving away from the August App.
The $199 (£128) doorbell cam comes with a triangle plate, to help users angle the camera if the doorbell happens to be off to the side.
August has yet to reveal any distribution plans for the UK market.