The first thing you’ll notice about the Yale Real Living Assure Lock is that it has no keyhole. There is no backup key, no physical keypad, and it looks like something that you’d mount on the outside of the Enterprise so Chekov can get back in after attaching a “Shatner/Nimoy ’74” bumper sticker to the right rear engine. The $199 lock, which is Yale’s latest Bluetooth-enabled creation, has no keys.
Essentially this works like most other automatic deadbolts. To install it you pull out your old deadbolt and slide in the two sides of the keypad. It takes four AA batteries and has a built-in speaker that walks you through the system menus accessible via the keypad.
I’ve used Schlage keypad locks for years and found them to be quite durable (you’ll notice that the paint pulled off where I removed the old lock. This one is slightly less so – the backplates are thinner than Schlage’s, for one – but the construction is the same. However, my previous locks were not wireless and these are. Plus, I think the truly interesting part is the backup unlocking mechanism.
If the world is overrun by zombies and your AA batteries go dead, two contacts under the lock let you press a 9 volt battery up to the lock, type in the passcode, and then unlock the system. It’s a clever workaround to arguably easily-hackable mechanical locks.
Further, the Assure Lock also supports Bluetooth. This means you can generate a key on your phone and approach the lock with the Yale app open. A twist of the phone and you’re in. You can send keys to friends and family so they can unlock the lock themselves.
The touchscreen supports multiple finger presses. You lock the lock by placing three fingers across the screen and you wake the keypad up the same way. I can’t attest to battery life yet but it’s been a solid addition to our back door.
The lock comes in three colors – silver, gold, and “rubbed brass” – and it is shipping now. The buttonless keypad is very easy to use (the kids already know their own codes) and my only complaint is that sometimes the automatic deadbolt slides out when the door is open, thereby forcing you to turn the inner latch to close it before shutting the door. I haven’t been able to figure out why the deadbolt sneaks out like that but I suspect that it activates when I touch the keypad with my butt.
Automatic locks are the future and in a future when mutated zombie monsters will learn lock-picking techniques from YouTube videos I’m happy that my family is safe from their tumbler-raking ministrations.