Bluetooth Locks

My experience with bluetooth has been pretty successful over the course of the last few years.  I have a mouse that works wirelessly through this tech, my car stereo connects to my phone and plays music using it, etc.  I also have an RC helicopter which is supposed to work through bluetooth and let my phone control it but it doesn’t work at all.  The helicopter seems not to receive commands all the time, and a pilotless helicopter doesn’t stay airborne long.

This brings us to the newest bluetooth device of interest: The Kevo bluetooth deadbolt made in coordination with Kwikset.  It looks like a really fantastic device and knowing my high-tech clientelle I immediately started working to find out if any of my distributors were selling it, because I know there will be demand by tech savvy people who want to use hands-free locks.

Carrying this lock and recommending it, however, are two different things.  I rarely take a chance on new technology because there is always a lot of bugs to iron out, especially in the last twenty years.  I have a lot of experience with open source software and the trend lately seems to be to push the product out the door working or not and then roll out fixes later.  Product manufacturers seem to think it is fine to use their customers as beta testers!  And so what if the device malfunctions or gets bricked in the course of this testing?  The stipulations of the warranty are that the customer has to pay for shipping, and half the time that alone is half the cost of a new device!

With my bluetooth-enabled RC helicopter experience in mind, I suggest to my customers that they hold off on buying any bluetooth enabled locks.  There are lots of things people haven’t thought through here, like how hard is it to clone a phone’s bluetooth profile and spoof somebody’s phone?  If somebody made a device that could read the handshake between the phone and the lock, they could probably spoof the device and do that themselves when the owner left his home next.

Second question: if you are in your house with your bluetooth phone, can somebody else walk up and touch the deadbolt and it will open, because the bluetooth device is nearby?  That would be worrisome if you were asleep and your phone was in range of your lock.

Finally, this lock is $200 but at its heart there is still an insecure kwikset deadbolt with smartkey tech, and this has been shown to be vulnerable to numerous attacks involving brute force which leave no sign of entry.  Adding bluetooth to this lock is sort of akin to polishing a turd, if you get my drift.

So, if you are interested in hands free technology, there are other options like Zwave technology as well as the Arrow touchpad, and also voice recognition technology.  Just don’t get a Kwikset Kevo until the tech has been around one generation.  Especially with real world hardware that can lock you out if it malfunctions!  I like to sit back for six months and watch all of the early adopters break their new toys and find fixes before I embark on the upgrade process.  This is how I’ve been doing it with my android phone, my mp3 player, my linux computer, my routers, etc for years and years.

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Bjørn Madsen

I am the Seattle locksmith you've been looking for. High Quality work at a reasonable price delivered in a timely fashion.