What drives customers to buy a smart lock? A San Francisco-based startup Otto believes that aesthetics plays a big part in the purchase. The team has introduced a smart lock which has the same size as the traditional lock, but with a modern and nicer look.
Unlike some smart locks in the market, the Otto Lock removes key holes and keypads to address potential security threats. There are two ways for users to unlock the door – with their smartphone or a twisting keypad which works like a combination lock.
The lock connects to home Wi-Fi and has built-in sensors. When the lock senses that the user’s smartphone is in range, one tap on the phone can directly unlock the door. When a smartphone is out of battery, a PIN may also work. Users can simply rotate the lock and enter the number.
Its companion mobile app can set up guest access, allowing users’ friends and family to enter the house while nobody’s at home. Since the device connects to Wi-Fi, the app can also be used to unlock the door remotely, from anywhere.
The company inserts an internal backup battery which can enable dozen times of unlocks, giving users sufficient time to replace the batteries in case the lock runs out of electricity. The device runs on a pair of CR123 batteries and the company said they should last for three to four months.
Although there’s no integration with other smart platforms at launch, the company said that it will roll out support for Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple HomeKit in the near future. The Otto Lock will continually receive updates for added security, features and integrations, the company claimed.
Otto has a team formed by ex-employees of Microsoft, Apple and Nokia. Similar to the position Nest has established in the smart thermostat market, Otto aims to establish similar position in the smart lock market.
While the company has an ambitious objective, its product has a less-friendly price tag. The Otto Lock will sell for US$699. It requires a professional to come in and install the device for users. The installation fee is waived for now, but the company is looking to charge US$150 for the installation in the future.
Customer can now pre-order the Otto Lock on the website, and shipping will start this fall.