CES 2014: New smart lock works with smart phones

As in past years, there will be plenty of big-screen televisions, tablets and mobile gadgets to explore when the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show opens Jan. 6 in Las Vegas. But technology is also rapidly moving in to take over more mundane tasks around the house. 

A few months ago, I wrote about the Kwikset SmartCode lock that uses a keypad to open and close a deadbolt lock. You can set a separate code for friends to use and get an upgrade that connects it to a mobile phone.

A new twist on the smart lock will be on display this year at CES from a start-up company called August. The August Smart Lock works with virtual keys that can be sent to a friend’s smartphone. 

August recognizes a user’s phone as they approach the home. It verifies their credentials and unlocks the door, all without a physical key. As the owner, you can specify how long the virtual key will be active before it expires and you can disable it at any time. The lock still works with a physical key and can be manually locked or unlocked from inside.

The Smart Lock sells for $199 at August.com.

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