Sep 21 2020

Smart Home: The smart door lock

In addition to lighting and various gadgets for the kitchen, security is a central theme that smart home users are concerned with. A further development in door locks is presented here.

Intelligently networked security products, for example, detect threats before they become dangers. They register smoke development, fend off uninvited guests and ensure that family members in need of help can move around the house without worries.

Door locks are another aspect of a smart, secure home. Polish newcomer Tedee has now launched the smallest, smart door lock on the market for intelligent security technology. 

Security products for smart home 

In a smart home, different devices communicate with each other, from the lamp to the television set to the mowing robot. Their uniform operation via app or voice command increases quality of life and comfort.

If you ask smart home users why intelligent solutions have moved into their own homes, you often hear that the security aspect has played a major role. Even though the number of home burglaries recorded by the police in Germany has fallen in recent years, just under 300 such crimes are registered every day. And in order to protect oneself against this, smart home technology nowadays offers networked security concepts that are comparatively inexpensive and easy to install. 

  • In addition to cameras, smoke and motion detectors, more and more smart door locks are becoming the focus of attention. Anyone installing an intelligently networked door lock is pursuing two aspects: convenience: Never again have to look for the front door key, as all doors open automatically thanks to the electronic lock.  
  • Security: Intelligent technology for convenient control and secure access management via smartphone is an important part of the smart home today.  

Newcomer Tedee has now developed the smallest smart door lock currently available on the market. The product aims to combine a sustainable concept with easy installation and maximum security.

The Tedee door lock can be installed in minutes on any door with a Euro profile cylinder. There is no need to dismantle existing door fittings or drill or glue. Calibration is then carried out in a few steps via the app. © Tedee

Small, smart door lock with sustainable concept 

At first glance, Tedee's smart door lock looks like an inconspicuous doorknob. In fact, with a diameter of 45 mm and a height of 55 mm, it is hardly bigger than a D-battery.

But inside, it conceals a motor and smart technology that allows for control and access control via smartphone and Apple Watch. The lock largely dispenses with plastic components and instead uses more resistant materials such as aluminium, metal and brass. This is intended to make the lock more durable overall and particularly quiet during operation.  

A further building block in terms of a sustainable product concept is the energy supply: instead of replaceable batteries, the door lock from Tedee contains its own rechargeable battery. With a capacity of 3,000 mAh, the smart door lock remains in operation for up to six months before it needs recharging. For this purpose, a two-metre long charging cable is included in the delivery. The micro-USB adapter is magnetically connected to the cable and releases as soon as it is pulled or the lock is set in motion.  

Convenient control and access management via app  

After installation on the inside of the door, the smart lock is simply opened or closed via Bluetooth 5.0 using the smartphone without the need for a key. Instead of a mechanical sensor, the door lock uses an acceleration sensor that detects the position of the lock. In this way, it recognises, for example, whether the door bolt is only locked once instead of twice and the app displays the status half-locked accordingly.

The auto-unlock function ensures that the door opens automatically when approached. The door latch is retracted briefly and then the door locks again automatically. If required, this automatic locking function can also be triggered by pressing a button: The front of the lock is also a key and acts as a trigger.

With the Tedee app for iOS and Android, it should be possible to send access authorisations to family members and guests from anywhere and at any time, choosing between permanent, time-limited or recurring digital keys. Chronologically sorted, an activity log shows when a user has operated the lock - whether manually with a key, by AutoUnlock or via App. For communication between door lock and app, the company relies on a high security standard and uses 256-bit encryption based on the current TLS-1.3 protocol.  

Matching bridge extends the range of functions 

The matching bridge from Tedee for connection to the WLAN is intended to provide additional functions: in combination, the lock can also be operated conveniently from a distance, the status can be checked at any time, authorisations can be withdrawn immediately and the owner receives real-time notifications of activities. In addition, the reliability of the AutoUnlock function in connection with iOS devices is increased, as an iBeacon is built into the bridge.

The compact bridge is positioned within Bluetooth range of the lock, connected to a power source and connected to the home WLAN network. The device can either be plugged directly into a power outlet using the supplied power adapter or powered via a micro-USB cable. 

The Tedee-Bridge opens up further possibilities for smart home integration: the lock can also be controlled by voice command via Siri shortcuts and Alexa. The company also provides a public web API so that users can easily and flexibly integrate Tedee products into their own smart home systems via HTTP requests. Connections to IFTTT and Google Home are under development and are expected to follow by the end of this year.

Author: Bernadette Trepte

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