August’s New Line of Products for A Smarter Front DoorBy - 10/20/2017
Starting with the August Smart Lock, August has made a name for themselves in the home security space. Not satisfied with their instant success, they continue to grow. In 2016, they added three new products based on customer feedback. This year, they’ve continued to expand their lineup.
The Smart Locks
|August Smart Lock Pro + Connect||August Smart Lock||August Smart Lock with HomeKit|
|Size||3.4 x 2.2 x 3.4 inches||1.6 x 2.6 x 4.8 inches||3.4 x 2.2 x 3.4 inches|
|Color||Silver or Dark Gray||Silver or Dark Gray||Silver or Dark Gray|
|Works With||HomeKit, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant – Connect or Doorbell Required for Both||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant – Connect or Doorbell Required for Both|
|Compatible August Accessories||August Doorbell Cam Pro, August
Smart Keypad, August Connect (Included)
|August Doorbell Cam Pro, August
Smart Keypad, August Connect
|August Doorbell Cam Pro, August
Smart Keypad, August Connect
|Wireless Protocols||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Included, Z-Wave||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Ready||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Ready|
|Lock/Unlock Near Home||Phone, Auto-Lock, Auto-Unlock||Phone, Auto-Lock, Auto-Unlock||Phone, Auto-Lock, Auto-Unlock|
|Lock/Unlock Away From Home||Requires Connect or August Doorbell||Requires Connect or August Doorbell|
|Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site|
August Smart Lock 2nd Generation (HomeKit-Enabled)
The August 2nd Generation Smart Lock offers the same basic features as its predecessor. You can unlock it with your phone if you’re within Bluetooth range, you can provide temporary access to guests, and it auto-locks/unlocks when you arrive or leave.
The only major change is HomeKit compatibility. The August Smart Lock 2nd Gen was one of the first products to be added to the HomeKit compatibility list. You can control the lock using your voice via Siri or by using the Apple Home App. Here’s the catch: You can only use Siri within Bluetooth range. If you want to control August lock with your voice remotely, you’ll need to buy the August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge, and you’ll need an Apple TV or iPad to function as a HomeKit hub. Aside from HomeKit, the smart lock also works with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.
The second gen smart lock also has minor design updates that address issues faced by the previous version. One of which is the faceplate. The old version would often move when turned manually. The new lock features a magnetic grip that holds it firmly in place as you turn the knob. The knob now also features a pattern for better grip as well as a new chrome indicator that will let you know the lock’s lock/unlock status.
The second generation August Smart Lock retails for $199 though you can often snag it for around $175.
August Smart Lock Mortise Kit
At CES 2017, August announced a new type of smart lock, the August Smart Lock Mortise Kit. It’s their first smart lock solution that turns select mortise-style locks, commonly used in high-rise residential buildings and new construction, into smart locks. The device is compatible with leading mortise lock providers, such as Schlage, Yale, and Accurate.
The kit includes a mounting plate and an adapter that connects the August Smart Lock, not included in the kit, to a mortise-style lock. The August Smart Lock Mortise Kit will be available to certified locksmiths, property developers, and property managers for $100.
August Smart Lock Pro
At ICS 2017, August announced the Smart Lock Pro. Originally, August planned on selling Smart Lock Pro through professional home installers only. However, it is now available to the public for DIY installation.
August Smart Lock Pro’s features and looks are similar to the 2nd Gen Smart Lock but with two added features. First is a Z-Wave Plus certification. If you own a Z-Wave smart home system, you can directly integrate August Smart Lock Pro. The lock also works with HomeKit, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant.
The second new feature is called DoorSense. This feature gives Smart Lock Pro the ability to detect whether your door is open or closed. Don’t let this confuse you. All previous August locks can tell whether your lock is engaged or not. What they can’t do is tell if the lock is in the door jamb. Previous August locks will engage the lock mechanism regardless of if your door is open or closed. August Smart Lock Pro, on the other hand, will not engage the lock and will let you know that your door is open so you can take action.
Unfortunately, DoorSense requires that you install an extra piece of hardware: a magnetic sensor that must be placed next to the smart lock itself. You can attach the device to your door jamb, but if you want a neater look, you can hollow out a space for the sensor in the jamb.
Besides the addition of Z-Wave and DoorSense, August Smart Lock Pro’s features remain the same as the 2nd Gen Smart Lock. Unfortunately, this means it still can’t connect to Wi-Fi. If you want to control your lock remotely, you’ll still need a Wi-Fi bridge. The good news is that August sells the lock as a bundle. The bundle includes a Smart Lock Pro, a DoorSense magnetic sensor, and an August Connect Wi-Fi bridge. You can purchase the kit for $279, $20 less than it would cost to buy the Smart Lock Pro ($229) and August Connect ($79) individually.
August Smart Lock 3rd Generation
Finally, August recently released a new entry-level smart lock that replaces the 1st Gen Smart Lock. The most significant change is the design. It’s a traditional-looking deadbolt with a thumb turn mechanism instead of a knob. While it’s not as visually appealing as other August locks, the new design is much less expensive to produce, allowing August to offer the lock at a lower price point ($149).
Feature-wise, August Smart Lock 3rd Gen covers the basics. You can lock and unlock it using the app, assuming you are within Bluetooth range, or remotely if you own an August Connect. You can also provide access to other people temporarily and monitor who comes and goes. The lock can even lock or unlock automatically as you arrive and go. Finally, it features DoorSense. What’s missing? HomeKit compatibility.
Smart Lock Accessories
August also sells several lock accessories.
Their first smart lock accessory is the August Connect ($79). August Connect is a Wi-Fi bridge designed to plug into an outlet. It connects to your August lock via Bluetooth, and then it bridges the connection to your home Wi-Fi network. While it’s a simple device, it makes it possible for you to control and monitor August locks from anywhere in the world. You’ll also need an August Connect to enjoy voice control via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Their second accessory is the Smart Keypad ($79). It lets you unlock your door by punching in a unique PIN. It’s particularly helpful to people who are not comfortable using their phones as virtual keys. The Smart Keypad can also accommodate temporary access codes given to guests.
Finally, there’s the August Smart Lock Mortise Kit, an extra kit that lets you install an August Smart Lock on your Mortise-type door lock. The kit is only available from professional installers.
The Doorbell Cameras
August has also expanded their product line to include doorbell cameras. Their first doorbell camera was called the August Doorbell Cam. It had a 720p resolution, motion sensor, live streaming, ring alerts, and cloud storage ($4.99/month for 30 days of storage). However, the unit had several downsides, especially when compared to successful smart doorbells like Ring. For one, motion detection and cloud storage were seriously delayed features. Second, the camera lacked night vision. Third, it required an existing doorbell wire setup.
As August Doorbell Cam turned out to be a bit of a flop, August launched the August Doorbell Cam Pro. It’s better than the original Doorbell Cam for several reasons.
First, all promised features are ready to go at launch.
Second, it has night vision… sort of. Instead of IR LEDs, it uses an actual light. The lights turn on when the camera detects motion or if the doorbell has been pressed. On one hand, it can finally see in the dark = awesome. On the other hand, as most visitors are friend not foe, flooding them with a bright light at night seems inconsiderate = not awesome.
Third, Cam Pro comes with a feature called August HindSight. This feature is related to video recording, so a cloud storage subscription is required. With HindSight, instead of starting the recording after an event occurs, August goes back a few seconds and includes a clip of the person approaching. This way, you’ll get to see the entire story.
Finally, its motion sensor is sensitivity adjustable.
The August Doorbell Cam Pro is available for $199. However, we’ve seen the new doorbell sell for as low as $140.00.
IFTTT, Alexa, and Google Assistant
August’s smart locks support rule-based automation through IFTTT. This integration allows you to create interactions between August and other products and services that have IFTTT channels. For example, you can create a rule that turns your Philips Hue lights on when the doors are unlocked.
The Alexa integration is made possible through the August Skill via the Alexa app. It allows you to use your voice to lock the door, check your locks’ status, or unlock your door, granted that you can provide a verbal pin code. The downside to using Alexa, however, is that you’re required to start your voice command with the phrase, “Tell August.”
On the other hand, controlling August with Google Home is more straightforward and doesn’t require a specific trigger phrase. However, you can’t unlock your door using Google Home.
Aside from the devices mentioned above, August also has a service called August Access. This program connects August users with several home service providers such as renovation contractors, cleaners, package couriers, pet sitters, dog walkers, and laundry cleaners. In theory, you can schedule any of these service providers right from the August Home app. The service provider will be given limited access to your August Smart Lock so they can perform the services even if you aren’t home. Of course, you can also do this without August Access, but the program adds several security features.
First, August Access will provide the person they send to your home with a unique and identifiable virtual key. If anything goes amiss, August can easily track the virtual key back to the person. Second, they will help you track the job progress. You will receive real-time alerts on your phone when service providers enter and exit your home. If you have a Doorbell Cam, photos are also taken as they enter or leave.
August Access currently has several partners including Sears Home Services, Pro.com, and Wag!.
You can learn more about all of the products and services on August.com.
August & Yale
Finally, August has announced that they have agreed to be acquired by ASSA ABLOY, the parent company of Yale. We’re yet to find out what this acquisition means for the two companies, but one thing’s for sure: August will work with Yale closer than ever.
Photo Credit: August
Last Updated 10/20/2017
August launched Smart Lock Pro with DoorSense, a cheaper smart lock that lacks HomeKit, a new doorbell camera with a flood light, and they are merging with Yale’s parent company.
Read Previous Updates
4/05/2017 Added August Smart Lock Pro
2/17/2017 You can now unlock your door using Amazon Echo.
1/8/2017 Updated with Mortise Kit
6-16-2016 updated with more Homekit information.
8-30-2016 Added DefCon findings.
9/29/2016 Motion detection added and cloud beta launched.
12/3/2016 Updated with cloud recording and August Access