Yale Assure 2: Best AutoUnlock Protocol? Other Options?

So I’m curious about this particular lock’s (Yale Assure 2 with No communication module) built in features via bluetooth as I’ve found them to be inconsistent. I’m also using the lock in a multifamily situation with an Iphone. Right now the only remote feature I’ve enabled is auto unlock, which sometime works as I approach the door and sometimes after I’m inside (using a key) and i have already locked the door…

I’ve debated about adding the $100 Zwave module (bad reviews), matter module (not available yet and from what I understand very limited functionality…), but I’ve not seen that there is really much value as the geolocation doesn’t work well and all I learn is that the lock is open/closed (this one is fairly obvious). So are beacons with ST integration for this lock or other locks with facial recognition a better solution?

There are some highly reliable facial recognition locks available for commercial buildings, but they cost way more than most people want to pay for a home system.

And the home system facial recognition that is available in many video Doorbells just isn’t considered reliable enough for unlocking doors. Most in this class offer about 80% reliability, which means one time in five they either don’t recognize the person or they think the person is someone else. :thinking: that’s why HomeKit for example, doesn’t have the option to use the facial recognition from the doorbell to unlock the door. Just to make announcements.

Lockly just announced that they will have a lock with facial recognition on the market this year, but those announcements don’t always come true.

Tuya has a couple of different inexpensive locks with facial recognition, but no direct smartthings integration for them, and they don’t seem to be any more reliable than anybody else’s technology.

So… I don’t think facial recognition is an option yet. There’s a lot of market demand for it, but the technology just isn’t here yet. We’ll see what lockley does.

As far as autounlocking that does work reliably with SmartThings… I am surprised that the Bluetooth unlocking isn’t working for you, because that’s usually considered the best approach of the current technologies. But it’s not instantaneous, you do have to be willing to wait at the door for about 20 seconds.

is the issue that you’re looking for something much much faster? if so, if you’re willing to touch your phone to the lock, an NFC reader might be your best option.

btw, you originally posted in someone else’s thread, and I moved this to a new thread so you can get responses specific to your needs without confusing the original poster, who is brand new to SmartThings.

Since you also asked about IBeacons, I use them at my house and find them very reliable, but that’s also Bluetooth technology and I don’t think it’s going to be any faster than the built-in Bluetooth in your Yale assure lock. So it’s probably not going to help you. :thinking:

(The OP in the other thread had the issue that they live in an apartment and GPS methods were unlocking their doorlock long before they got to the door. So I mentioned Ibeacons in that thread as a way of shrinking the detection zone for geopresence. But it doesn’t sound like that’s the issue you’re dealing with.)

Thanks for re-organizing the topics. Yes, I’m open to waiting 5-10 seconds. 20 seems like a lot when I’m carrying stuff, I’ve not timed it though, but it seems like it takes over a minute sometimes (enough to unlock, get inside, lock it and then for it to unlock automatically.). Whatever auto open option I choose, I’d still want the manual (key) backup, as I can’t rely upon batteries either, although so far, the original set has not died and its been about 8 months with multiple firmware updates (but also no communications beyond BT and the internal flashing LED for status).

I probably have the converse issue with GPS (which is why I manually lock) is that I’m afraid that it would not lock until I’m too far away. And the one thing that remote communications via ST would tell me is to confirm it actually locked. I’d hoped Matter would solve that, but from What I understand, the TBD Matter will only lock/unlock and won’t work with their app, so its fairly worthless if they ever release it.

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Ok. If you use an NFC tag, you will have to touch your phone to the tag, it’s not an automatic hands-free option like Bluetooth is. Is that something you’d consider?

Also, do all of the household members have iPhones?

Unfortunately, I’m the only iphone users, so yes, the broader solution would need to encompasses android (although right now, the key is the board solution).

Would we carry the NFC tag with us?

It’s up to you. Some locks have an NFC option built-in. Some people just stick it on the wall near the lock, although then you have to consider security. If you’re arriving by car, you can stick it inside for easy access. Some people don’t feel safe leaving the tag at the house so they have it on a keychain and tap the tag to the phone, but then you’re getting into a two handed operation, and it becomes a question of how convenient it really is. :thinking:

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I tried a bunch of different things to make it hands-free. I used facial recognition with a camera and an Alexa routine, NFC, and some other methods. In the end, I installed an Echo Input in my car, an Echo Dot in the garage, another Echo Dot mounted under the eave over my front door, and an additional Echo Dot mounted inside near my front door. I created Alexa voice commands to lock and unlock my doors. I know everyone says not to do this, but I added a secret word and a secret PIN to the voice command. So, for example, I say, ‘Alexa, unlock the front door’ followed by the secret word and secret PIN. This way, no one can just tell her to open it. When I get inside, I simply say, ‘Alexa, lock all the doors.’ There is maybe a 1-second delay at most! I did the same to open and close my garage doors.

I’m not a fan of Bluetooth in general. I have plenty of situations where it should work, but does not. For locks I’d far rather use Zwave or zigbee. Simply based on experience, those protocols function in scenarios where Bluetooth fails.

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True, but the scenarios where it fails are not usually a 5 m connection to the receiver, like you should get with most locks. Unless… You have very strong Wi-Fi in that area, in which case it could interfere with the Bluetooth signal.

I mention that because it is likely that a Zigbee Device will have the same issues as a Bluetooth in the same physical location if that’s the problem. Zwave, however, is generally unaffected by Wi-Fi transmissions. It’s one of the reasons that historically Z wave was very popular for light switches and locks and other fixed position devices where you couldn’t move them around to try to get a better signal.

So if my wifi router, ST router and lock are in close proximity, then Z wave is the way to go for the Assure module? What about Matter/thread (if/when it comes out)? I saw negative comments that Yale had never updated their Assure z wave module, which is one reason I wasn’t pursuing that route.

If a Zigbee and Bluetooth are having difficulties getting past the Wi-Fi in a specific physical location, Thread is likely to also be affected as all four of these broadcast on the same frequency. (2.4 GHz)

I’m not sure where you were looking to see the negative comments, but it sounds like something really techie from people who want to see the latest and greatest zwave generation. Consumer reviews of the Yale assure line with zwave have generally been very high, and it’s been popular in this community as well.

Here’s one model, for example, with over 4000 reviews at Amazon and a 4.2 star satisfaction rating.


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I’ve got the new model without the module, which has still mostly positive reviews, but the negative ratings for the zwave module on Amazon and yale were about the older 500 series Zwave chip/ no S2 , price ($113) and the battery life. Even with this module, i 'd still have the dilemena of BT vs GEO fencing?

I think my use case is similar to @Kylemac25. I held off on adding a smart lock due to both security and location presence concerns but was forced to do so last year when I got locked inside (brute force solved that problem and destroyed the old lock). Ideally, I’d love to be able to automatically lock and unlock the lock with Android and Apple while in my complex (easily a block X a block). I’m on the fifth floor, so can’t assume that neighbors below would not trigger signal either. It sounds like geofencing won’t work. The Ibeacon is only for I phones? NFC would work but for only certain locks? The wifi server solution is tempting, but it only works for one server brand? I definitely would prefer a small radius, but one allows for sufficient lock reaction time (150’?). Any suggestions beyond the current BT that i noted in another thread which sometimes works quickly and sometimes not?

It works best with iPhones and the Geofency receiving station app that I recommend only works on an iPhone. But there are other receiving station apps, so there are some people in the past have used it with android. I just don’t personally know how to set that up. You could do more research.

NFC would work but for only certain locks?

some locks have NFC readers built in, but that’s just a convenience. You can use the NFC tag method with both android and iPhones. The tag themselves are very inexpensive, typically under two dollars and you use your phone as the NFC reader. But it’s not a hands-free method – – you have to touch the phone to the tag or the tag to the phone. Personally, I don’t think it’s really any easier than using the app since you already have the phone in your hand, but there are people who really like the method and use NFC tags for all kinds of things. So we can talk about that more if you want.

The wifi server solution is tempting, but it only works for one server brand?

It works with any Wi-Fi server model which can do something actionable when it recognizes a specific device has joined the network. That might be a web hook, an app, notification, an email, a text: different models offer different options. But someway of being notified, that a specific Device has joined the network that you can then turn into something you can use to trigger a SmartThings routine.

There’s a thread in the forum somewhere where people discuss this option in detail. I’ll try to find it for you.

I’ve figured out how to do this on my router for each of the phones of interest either via email or notification. So if you can find the other end of the solution, and its readily doable, this might be the best solution for me, as I can tell my wi-fi goes to the elevator, which would be about the right amount of distance for the lock to do its thing (assuming of course that I get the Zwave module). I then only need to add/subtract the various phones via my router’s “tether” app rather than give out other devices. As I recall Android devices can readily use notifications to trigger ST- but I’m not sure about Iphones. The nice thing about using the wifi is its always on and on backup power, so rarely would be down and nothing to loose or touch!

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Update -this may not work so well after all. Evidently Tether (tp link) triggers whenever I use my Iphone, not when I go on/off the network. So I’m getting spamed constantly… Will check for another setting later.