Over the summer, smart lock maker August announced its first integration with Amazon’s smart home assistant Alexa. It was pretty basic – letting users check whether unit was locked or not. Naturally, people wanted to know, for better or worse, when they’d actually be able to unlock their front door with the sound of their voice, for when you’re chopping onions like the lady in the above press photo.
That follow up functionality arrives today – though it brings a key caveat for safety’s sake. In order to actually utilize the feature, users will have to enter a four to 12 digit PIN code each time, in addition to telling the AI, “Alexa, ask August to unlock my door.”
Here’s CEO Jason Johnson on why the feature was added,
Before adding the unlock feature, we needed to be sure we could maintain our standard for security. Now users have the convenience of using Alexa to unlock their door using their voice and a secure voice PIN from anywhere in the home.
The company has added the extra step for obvious security reasons – you likely don’t want passersby unlocking your front door by simply asking nicely. It’s a necessary security addition, perhaps, but one that seems to mitigate the usefulness of the new feature.
Like the older Alexa skill, this one requires the lock be networked to either the August WiFi Bridge or the company’s doorbell camera. It works with both the first and second generation lock.