August Preps Two New Smartlocks & Doorbell Cam

Dave Zatz —  August 20, 2017

We’ve been tracking new August Smart Home hardware for months … and the company’s plans are starting to coalesce, given some tipster-provided imagery. As with Nest, August intends to expand downmarket this fall with what appears to a lower-end smart lock that (primarily?) lacks the premium Yves Behar industrial design and light effects. However, like Nest, they’ll also be offering a more upscale and capable product for those so inclined in the August Smart Lock Pro. Beyond carrying forward the prior generation’s form factor, I’m hopeful they’ve managed to slim down the bulk (depth-wise) with this go around. And, on the technical end, both the company and requisite FCC filing indicate Z-Wave will be joining Bluetooth within the August Smart Lock Pro for expanded IoT interoperability.

The August doorbell camera will also see a slight refresh in the near future, although concrete details are a bit murkier. The perforations have clearly been relocated, but it otherwise retains its blocky form. Perhaps the video resolution or field of view will see bumps to better match the competition. Along with the new locks and doorbell cam, a feature called “doorsense” will likely launch – one we suspect is related to indoor package delivery.

As for my occasionally smart, although frequently dumb, home, I swapped out Kevo for August earlier this year given reliability issues and stylistic concerns.

9 responses to August Preps Two New Smartlocks & Doorbell Cam

  1. I’m not as jazzed about August as I was when they launched. Unless the reviews are poor I’m most likely going with a Yale Assure Lock SL. Their doorbell camera design should have been scrapped.

  2. I’ve been following August for a while as I research smartlocks and would buy one in a heartbeat but for the terrible reviews their app gets in the Google store relating to unreliability for those using Android phones.

  3. The best locks use no electricity, can’t be hacked, and take a long time to pick. Smart locks are not secure in my book.

  4. “The best locks use no electricity, can’t be hacked, and take a long time to pick. Smart locks are not secure in my book.”

    But olde-fashioned locks can’t even connect to your smartphone. Using one would like sending messages via carrier pigeon instead of using the more modern semaphore system.

    Functionality is passe. Get with the times, dude. I bet you haven’t even purchased an always-on microphone for your home that sends your every conversation to a friendly corporation for data mining and permanent archival.

  5. Home security system hacking is going to become a big problem going forward.

  6. A decent percent of my professional career has been spent managing security-related IT matters and there’s always an uneasy tension between convenience and safety. Same is true here and folks who give it some thought will do a risk analysis of sorts – does the functionality justify the risk, and what exactly are the risks. Personally, I don’t place a lot of stock in deadbolt security and see it more as a minor deterrent and I limit my smart lock attack surface by only communicating over Bluetooth, vs giving them WiFi access. As Chucky alludes, the potentially more risky and invasive technology are our voice assistants and we’ve all heard about the open cameras feeds. But I’m most concerned (and bitter) about that time my former cloud-powered Nest thermostat prevented me from turning on my AC — I get the app not working time to time, but from my wall I was unable to control the thermostat.

  7. “But I’m most concerned (and bitter) about that time my former cloud-powered Nest thermostat prevented me from turning on my AC — I get the app not working time to time, but from my wall I was unable to control the thermostat.”

    Yeah. Aside from putting monitoring devices in your home that either are intended to monitor you, or can be hacked to do so, the big problem with IoT to me is simply that things won’t work, or will work but then break and not work . Tech is complex, and complex things have many points of failure. Tech is often shipped with poorly designed software. Tech often ends up being abandonware.

    In short, while many folks seem semi-aware of the IoT threat of 1984 style surveillance, fewer folks seem aware of the threat of Phillip K. Dick style Things Just Don’t Work Right. Reliability is undersold. (I read pretty much all of PKD’s books as a youth, and a constant theme is SmartHomes that make things more difficult for their inhabitants by not being as reliably functional as their dumb predecessors.)

  8. Very eagerly waiting for it, i think it will be unbelievable