Yale announced today that its Yale Assure Lock now supports voice unlocking through Amazon Alexa. You’ll be able to set up a four-to-eight-digit PIN, then speak that PIN out loud to unlock your Assure deadbolt when your hands are full.
Any persons with Yale Z-Wave or Zigbee locks can currently lock their doors and check lock status through the Alexa app. But only Assure Lock owners can now link their devices with an Amazon Echo Plus or other compatible smart home hubs (like Samsung SmartThings) to unlock doors.
Yale Assure will also let you enter your code using buttons or a touchscreen. Plus, you must opt into the unlock feature, since it’s off by default, meaning burglars can’t just say 0000 to get in before you set it up.
Jason Williams, President of Yale’s parent company ASSA ABLOY, said in a statement that Yale’s customers had been requesting voice control.
“With the addition of the Alexa unlock feature our locks now allow consumers to secure their homes and enter them using simple voice commands, delivering a new level of convenience without any compromise on security,” he said.
Unfortunately, Yale’s press release made no mention of specific security features for the smart lock, such as voice recognition or anti-hacking measures.
Customized security settings
Outside of locking and unlocking, Yale says that its locks can be connected to a home alarm or automation system. That way, you can program your lock to trigger when an alarm sounds, or unlock right around the time you know your kid’s school bus arrives.
Plus, you can give out specialized codes to specific people that only work at certain times—like giving your neighbor access when you’re away on vacation to water your plants—and you can check access logs after the fact to see when and for how long he or she visited while you were away.
Of course, other Yale locks have these features, for buyers interested in other smart home ecosystems than Amazon.
At CES 2018, Yale also announced its specialized Nest x Yale lock, which lets you connect your smart lock to your Nest Secure Alarm and Nest Hello video-enabled doorbell for automated lock/unlock responses.
Unfortunately, the Nest-specialized lock and Alexa-specialized Assure Lock won’t work interchangeably, so if you use Google Home, Nest x Yale could be your best bet. It seems likely that Yale will add Google Assistant support to its Nest locks in the near future as well.