August Smart Lock


(Matthew Ingram) #1

So, I believe I understand correctly that SmartThings cannot integrate with the August Smart Lock based on hardware limitations. However, now that SmartThings can integrate with Logitech Harmony Home and the Harmony Home can or will be able to integrate with the August, might SmartThings ultimately be able to interact directly with the August using Harmony as a type of bridge?


(Ben Edwards) #2

What hardware limitations are you thinking about? Bluetooth? We have integrated with August (at last year’s CES) via a cloud-to-cloud integration (I believe). Since August has just started shipping, they haven’t had much time to collaborate on an integration with us. I expect that to change soon.


(Matthew Ingram) #3

@Ben, I wasn’t sure how a cloud-to-cloud would work, because I did not believe the August had any connection support other than bluetooth and would therefore need an intermediary for cloud-to-cloud support. That’s where I thought the Harmony System, with bluetooth support, could act as that intermediary.


(DLee) #4

IIUC, Harmony doesn’t actually integrate with Smartthings. You can’t have Smartthings tell Harmony to turn off your TV and put your DVR in stand-by mode when you turn off the family room light for example.

Edit - I just read the latest Harmon blog post. Apparently you can have bi-directional control. Will investigate.


(Matthew Ingram) #5

I was going to say, I’ve already got some things setup. Ha


(Brandon) #6

@matthewcingram The August lock supports Wifi, has an app, and likely has full cloud integration with itself. @Ben is referring to using the August’s internet connection to talk API-to-API via the SmartThings cloud. It won’t be exactly like a traditional Zwave device but there are plenty of examples of other devices that integrate in this manner.


(Matthew Ingram) #7

@bmmiller Actually, the August does not have wifi. The website mentions nothing of it, only bluetooth.You can’t unlock it unless you are within bluetooth range. The setup process does not involve connecting it to any wifi either. The only connection between the August and the cloud is through a third party device, as of right now the smartphone, through bluetooth. There has been no mention of wifi ever in the device, unlike the Lockitron. If it does have a hidden wifi component, that would be great (and exciting), but it hasn’t been advertised or activated so it can’t be used as of right now if it’s even there. So with no wifi component, a third party bluetooth relay will be needed. That’s where I thought the Harmony system could come in. I actually have the Harmony Home (which has bluetooth) and while they advertised it would work with the August, it has not been implemented yet either.

But maybe there is a big step I’m missing somewhere.

Some use cases could be done without needing wifi - such as turning on lights when the August realizes you are home (via bluetooth) through an API-to-API connection. In that case the third party router (smartphone) is nearby so it would work. But, that wouldn’t be too helpful considering we can already do these things with presence sensors or contact sensors. But my main use case was allowing the August to be locked or unlock while you are away from home. Without going through the whole invite process through the August app – and maybe the user doesn’t have a smartphone. In that case you would need a third party device (the Harmony system) at home all the time.


(Brandon) #8

Interesting. I really thought it had wifi. Hmm. Perahps an older iteration mentioned it? I have been following August for what seems like a year now.

Honestly, I was waiting for the August to be released to see if I would get it or a Zwave deadbolt. This might be the nail in the coffin for the August.

If there is some sort of constant bluetooth router, that’s cheap, I wouldn’t mind getting that but another thing to find a power source for, etc. Curious what @Ben is referring to then?


(Matthew Ingram) #9

Not sure unless it is something like my first use case where only things can be triggered while the phone is around. But maybe the August has a hidden zwave or zigbee component that hasn’t been activated like the Nest is supposed to have. I do remember last year’s CES he is talking about, but I’m not sure how they could done any integration unless it was similar to what I mentioned before about the bluetooth device having to be around and that being the trigger.

Should be interesting to see how it turns out either way.


(Brandon) #10

@matthewcingram After reading some more on the lock and rewatching the promo video, I just don’t see how it could possibly function without something other than local bluetooth. Not to mention that it would be a terrible decision to have only that.

One of the touted features in the promo video is alerting you when someone arrives, assuming you aren’t actually home since the promo video shows a contractor arriving. The only way for this to happen is for it to be connected to Wifi, or ship with some sort of bluetooth connect controller. Regardless, it almost has to have an internet connection to accomplish this, connecting to their servers in some method to send info back to a phone.

I realize I’m making some assumptions because they don’t explicitly say there is an internet connection, and also say one isn’t required. I dunno, my $0.02.


(Matthew Ingram) #11

Everything is routed through the app. So when the contractor arrives,
the lock verifies he has access by connecting to the bluetooth on his smartphone. After approved the app sends a push notification to your device saying he arrived (more or less through the “cloud”).That’s why there is always the need of a third party Bluetooth device (in this case the phone). It is a serious drawback to not have some type of other connection, but I think that’s why they have touted it’s security. It’s never actually online, but through the third party device that is connected to wifi. Use cases arise when the user doesn’t have a smartphone. How can those people get access? Right now they can’t. That’s where I was hoping the Harmony could play a part in connecting the lock. Say the non-smartphone user could text a code to a number. The Harmony verifies that number then sends an open command to the lock through Bluetooth. Or the owner of the phone could simply tell the Harmony to open the lock anytime while away from home.


(Brandon) #12

Well, that’ll be unfortunate if true. It really leaves no method of simply checking if the lock is currently locked or unlocked from the app while away, even within their own app.


#13

August locks are only Bluetooth and can’t connect to ST. However, there is a company which makes the same looking lock and it can connect to ST for the main reason that they also use Z-Wave. Check them out:
http://shop.danalock.com/products/7-poly-lock-other/


(Matthew Bial) #14

Unfortunately the Danalock Poly Locks are still Europe-only for the time being. The US models are pre-order, but there’s no clear expected ship date. Again, this leaves the Lockitron as the only viable option to perform this function (at least in the USA) today. I am happy to be a guinea pig for anyone willing to take a stab at their API. More info here.

Best,
Matt


#15

That lock is crap. It still requires BlueTooth which is not reliable. It needs Zigbee or Z-Wave support.


(Matthew Bial) #16

@lmosenko As SmartThings v1 hub doesn’t support bluetooth, it’s not really possibility for us either way. The Danalock could be a possibility in Europe, but they are not shipping any US models yet. Again, this really only leaves us with the Lockitron as a functional choice. I really hope that someone here will assist with the integration with the Lockitron API.


(Rakote) #17

I am going to cross post this on the HomeKit conversation as well.

I think there is still some confusion on what HomeKit can do for a consumer, and even a developer such as ST.

August is the first product to support HomeKit though it is hidden right now as there is no other hardware that I am aware of that is on the market and sold in stores. I have 2 and they work great standalone and I can’t wait to take advantage of HomeKit for this reason alone.

What HomeKit gets a consumer is one central database that is shared across all apps that support it of all of my home automation devices. Some of these are devices (or will be) that SmartThings supports (NETATMO, HUE) and some of them are not (like August). HomeKit gives SmartThings hardware devices as they come to market if they support HomeKit automatically. The software stack part of HomeKit provides specific functions for HomeKit Hardware and my understanding is that this database also stores custom functions in a meta layer that exposes what (if not standard on/off as an example) that piece of hardware does for me. By fully integrating into HomeKit SmartThings could easily integrate and support any device that works with HomeKit for basically free. All they would have to do is possibly change on some extreme cases the UI for the device. For standard type devices such as a lock it would just work. I would open my SmartThings app and it would say hey we found a new lock. Using the HomeKit API it would then be able to control the item. SmartThings (company) does not need to buy the device, test it and then release (something that has been sometimes not so great, see HUE and Sonos Integration) a new supported device via firmware and or software. In fact it has been some of these buggy implementations that made me make the choice to try out a competing hub (I am currently using Revolv and mostly satisfied) but am willing to come back to SmartThings if the reason is compelling enough. So far it has not been (don’t hold that against me right now), I have invested in SmartThings devices that Revolv does not support, and I have devices now that SmartThings does not support this is the dilemma that HomeKit solves for me.

I want to have choice, I buy best of breed products and expect them to work. I have nest thermostats, hues, lifx bulbs, august locks, I am expecting my scout alarm system soon, netatmo, garagio and a couple of other devices in my house right now. That is mostly why I am a apple house, not because I am fanboy but there has been nothing compelling for me to switch to android or back to windows in a long time.

Additionally I do not believe what we have heard or seen of HomeKit is all there will be. The First official partner of Apples just released and is shipping a compatible device. I believe the delay in August being shipped is that they were working closely with Apple to fully support the Spec. It can’t be coincidence that they shipped roughly 1 week after the spec was finalized nor can it be a coincidence that you can buy the August locks in retail stores before they have fulfilled all of the preorders. (Full disclosure, I am still waiting on my preorder lock, and I bought 2 more on a whim at the apple store yesterday for my other doors as I believe they will be one of the best locks out there). Just because Apple released the final spec on the 8th does not mean that it was not done before that as they are very controlled on the timing of news releases. With the hints that AppleTV is going to support home kit in its latest betas it is my guess that the current AppleTV and a future version will be apple’s gateway to HomeKit devices. The current AppleTV has bluetooth and WiFi (the two protocols that apple officially supports) SmartThings has a network connection. It should be possible for SmartThings to communicate to my appleTV to tell it to lock my door. It should also be possible for my AppleTV to ask SmartThings if my window is open and then take action on that as well as my window sensor is ZigBee or Z-Wave for example.

Finally to bring this full circle back to August, I can not believe that August does not have plans for remote actions, we just don’t know what they are yet. The mere fact that they are an official Apple Partner alone proves this to me. The HomeKit spec almost requires it, if you read or watch any of the information that Apple has published on it it says “Remote Access” on several occasions.

Thanks for reading my long winded stream of consciousness.


(Jarvis Meier) #18

You can do a hack integration with August smart lock provided you also have a harmony home hub. The harmony has bluetooth and directly supports the august lock. You can integrate the harmony hub with smart things and have ST run “Activities” that are already setup in your Harmony Hub (i.e.: open door).


(Matthew Ingram) #19

@jarvismeier, have you actually accomplished this? It is my understanding, and I have tried, that the Harmony is not yet integrated with the August. It is scheduled to be accomplished and was actually advertised as working when the Harmony Home was announced, but integration has yet to arrive from what I have seen, unless it has been most recent.


(Jarvis Meier) #20

No i have not. I’m based in canada and the august smart lock is not yet available here yet. This was all gathered via hearsay. I own a Harmony hub and can see it is advertised as such but have no way of actually verifying if it works.

There was another company (can’t remember the name) that is making a universal bluetooth IR blaster. They said it will work with smart things when ST release their bluetooth enabled hub in early 2015. So this may also bring with it proper August support.