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[The following post is sponsored by Kevo]
When I was a child I was promised a lot of things for the future. Rocket cars were at the top of the list, and that hasn’t happened yet. We do have robots, but all they really do is vacuum our floors. That’s a far cry from a robot maid. And as far as I know, we’ve made basically no progress towards teleporters and replicators (that 3D printer that makes pizza just isn’t the same).
But for the past few days I’ve been playing around with a deadbolt on my front door that opens at the touch of a finger, and that feels like a step in the right direction.
The Kwikset Kevo powered by UniKey is a Bluetooth 4.0 deadbolt that is activated by touching the metal ring around the cylinder (the middle part where you put a key in). It works with either the included fob, or with certain Apple devices (apps for more devices are in the works, including Android – you can see the compatible devices here). And, of course, it also works with a regular metal key as well (the lock comes with two, or it can be rekeyed in a matter of seconds to fit another Kwikset key you might already have).
I installed the Kevo myself, and it only took me about fifteen minutes (and that included taking out the old lock). Before I started I read through the instructions that came in the box first, and let me just say that they’re incredibly confusing. I’ve never worked with locks before, and all of the terms started to run together, and I started to get worried that I wasn’t going to be able to get this done.
Then I found this video on the Kwikset site, which is excellent. Seriously. The video led me through the process no problem.
If you already have a deadbolt installed, like I did, installation is really easy – all of the holes are already there, and all you need is a ruler and a phillips head screwdriver.
Once the lock is installed, it looks on the outside just like any other lock. The Kevo runs on 4 AA batteries (included), and does not connect to your WiFi.
Once you’ve installed the Kevo, you need to calibrate the devices that you’re going to use with it. You have to do this for each device, but only once, and it only takes a minute or two. Bring the lock’s keys outside with you, just in case. And very important: the phone that you first set up with the Kevo gets the owner’s key.
You want to make sure you do all of the calibration steps, because the Kevo has the ability to tell whether your Fob or phone is inside or outside of the door. You can set your fob or phone down right inside the door, and the lock will not open. The device has to be outside to work, so you don’t have to worry about someone being able to open your lock if you drop your purse right inside the door.
First you want to watch this video that gets you started with your Fob:
Then this video that shows you how to calibrate your Fob:
And then you can calibrate your smart devices:
To me, the most exciting feature of the Kevo is being able to send key access to other people, as long as they have a compatible device!
The Kevo comes with two eKeys included, one for the owner and one to be sent to someone else. These can be used as regular, use-all-the-time keys, or put on a schedule. For example, you could send one to your dog walker, and schedule it to be usable from 2-4pm every weekday. Access can be revoked at any time, and that extra key can be reassigned and resent as many times as you want. Additional eKeys cost $1.99 each and work the same way – they can be resent and reassigned an unlimited number of times.
You can also send unlimited free guest keys. These work for 24 hours and then expire.
Ease Of Use
Between the easy installation, easy calibration, and easy use, I’m really thrilled with this lock. So many cars (including mine) now open and turn on with the key still in a purse or pocket, and now your front door can work the same way. You could go your whole day without taking your keys out.
And if there’s some kind of emergency, or someone needs access to your house, you can give someone else controlled access easily from the app. For me, that’s the biggest deal about this lock. No more random keys floating around, no more running to the hardware store when you have guests or get a new roommate.
You can see who has accessed your house with their eKeys, and even get a notification on the app.
Take a look at my Kevo in action: