The smart home has grown in importance over the years, with new technologies being used to connect users with what used to be dumb objects. Products like the Nest thermostat show how wireless technology and mobile apps to better manage the temperature of your home. Now similar technology is being deployed by a startup called August, which provides a $199 keyless lock system powered by a mobile app.
August was founded by tech entrepreneur Jason Johnson and industrial designer Yves Behar. They were searching for a new way to give users access to their homes. The result is a keyless lock system that hooks onto your existing dead bolt and lets you unlock doors through mobile applications. For homeowners, the hardware will enable easy access to a house for themselves, as well as other approved visitors.
Johnson believes that the solution is perfect for users who want to give conditional, temporary access to people who might be coming by their house to clean or fix it while the owner isn’t home. It’s also a way for users to let friends, family or Airbnb guests to enter the house with a complete log of whomever has come in at any given time. That will allow users to see who’s entered and when.
In addition to the ability to turn on and off access to the home through an app, users will be able to send invitations to friends or family that have been connected on Facebook or on their mobile contact lists. Johnson gave the example of a dinner party where visitors could be invited and let themselves in without having to ring the doorbell.
The August smart lock is powered by Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology, which will enable it to work without connecting to a Wi-Fi network. The team claims that the smart lock is the smallest electronic door lock on the market, and they say that it only takes 10 minutes to install. While the hardware costs $199, the service will remain free once the device has been purchased.
While Behar is well-known for industrial design work he’s done on products like the Jawbone Up, OUYA game console, and other devices, this is the first time he’s been a co-founder on one of those projects. Johnson, meanwhile, has been the CEO and co-founder of AirCover, as well as co-founder of BookShout.
August has raised $2 million in seed funding from a bunch of angels, including Jay Adelson, Matt Mullenweg, Rick Marini, Zack Bogue, Matt Ocko, Aileen Lee, Mike Marquez, David Spector, Jeff Clavier, Tony Conrad and Nicholas Negroponte, among others.