By AppleInsider Staff
Wednesday, January 04, 2017, 10:04 pm PT (01:04 am ET)
Lock maker Yale on Wednesday announced a $75 HomeKit module that plugs directly into existing hardware, offering owners the ability to control select smart locks with Siri and Apple’s Home app.
As seen on the CES show floor, Yale’s forthcoming module, like the green unit seen above, deliver HomeKit smarts to existing hardware by slipping into a port on the Real Living Assure Lock and NexTouch Wireless Lock. The two products were previously limited to the ZigBee and Z-Wave standards, but it seems Yale was thinking ahead and engineered the network processor to function as a modular design.
By replacing the standard processing module with a HomeKit version and proceeding through a pairing process, users are granted immediate access to Apple’s smart home platform.
Since the module acts as a HomeKit “brain” to Yale’s smart lock hardware, it offers an identical feature set routed through Apple’s software environment. For example, users can check on battery levels and lock status in the Home app or remotely unlock the mechanism with a Siri voice command.
Like other HomeKit-enabled products, Yale locks outfitted with the new module can be lumped into smart home macros, or scenes as Apple calls them. As an example, a user might set a scene that prompts connected lights to turn on, windows to open and locks to unlock when they enter a geofenced area around their house.
Yale’s HomeKit module will sell for $75 when it launches in March, a somewhat pricey augmentation especially for homes with multiple locks. Still, it’s more affordable than buying an entirely new lock mechanism, which sells for around $250 apiece.