back to article A Bluetooth door lock that puts the kettle on? NOW we're in the future

Another electronic door lock that can be operated wirelessly has launched. Wait, come back: this time it looks cool and promises to, one day, control your kettle, lights and other stuff connected to the future's Internet of Things. The $200 barrel lock, codenamed "August", was on Wednesday unveiled by self-described serial …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Invent something that is clever but extremely expensive and has such a small niche market.....

    It's been around for a long time but still hasn't caught on, tells us something doesn't it.

  2. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Brilliant idea

    how about something that puts on the chip pan when you come home pissed and burns the house down without you even making it out of the hallway!

  3. frank ly

    "..control your kettle, lights, etc"

    Call me old fashioned, but I'd prefer to make those decisions and actions myself.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most people have a mobile phone

    Why not use Bluetooth? Or even more convenient (for Android users), NFC? Better yet, a small, cheap piece of metal with a unique pattern that is recognised by a device that is mounted in the door. I can't imagine why no one has thought of this before.

  5. Gray Ham
    Thumb Down

    What's the point?

    I can't really see that this would be that useful - just a gadget for those who like gadgets. The old-fashioned key is far easier to carry around and basically just as easy to use (plus it will still work when the power is out).

    And as for putting the kettle on - it's only going to be a few seconds before you get to the kitchen (and you would have to fill the kettle with water anyway). What would be really useful is a device that sends a message to SWMBO 10 minutes before I arrive home, like "put the kettle on" or "BURMA" (depending on mood) ...

    1. MrXavia

      Re: What's the point?

      Not sure about the far easier to carry and use...

      I would love all my door locks to be connected to MY network, I would love to be able to issue a single command to unlock in the morning and lock up and night, right now I have about 8 keys on my keyring so I have a key for each door in my house, its very annoying and bulky, if my phone had a home automation app, that linked into my home network, that would be great and free me from carrying keys, I even wish it could talk to my car and remove the need to put keys in my pocket...

      Sure the risk is someone steals your phone, but as a mugger would probably take your keys, phone & wallet anyway, there is no big deal, at least with this you can block the phones access, easier than changing locks!

      1. druck Silver badge

        Re: What's the point?

        MrXavia wrote:

        Sure the risk is someone steals your phone, but as a mugger would probably take your keys, phone & wallet anyway, there is no big deal, at least with this you can block the phones access, easier than changing locks!

        Think more about loosing a set or keys or a phone. A set of keys will open a lock, but wont tell a miscreant where you live. A phone which will open locks will have your address stored in the contacts, or it will be obvious from the sat nav history. They are likely to stripping your house bare before you can get home by taxi, or have got through to the phone company to try block the phone - if indeed that will prevent it from using bluetooth or NFC on the locks.

        1. Colin Miller

          Re: What's the point?

          I read on a Police website somewhere (and it might have been for car sat-nav, rather than phone), that you should set your home location to somewhere near your house, but not actually at your house.

          This way, if someone should relieve you of your car and house keys, then when they press the 'take me home' button on your sat-nav, they won't be able to burgle your house at the same time. If you can't find your way to your house once you are in the neighbourhood then (assuming you haven't recently moved house) then you really shouldn't be driving.

    2. johnnytruant

      Re: What's the point?

      Not sure if this lock does it, but I'd really like one which, when it detects my phone has left the immediate area shortly after being opened and closed (ie, me going out) sends me a text if I haven't locked it.

      Or better, just locks itself and doesn't bother me at all.

      So there's one use at least.

      (No, I don't have Yale locks. I wish I did.)

      1. Colin Miller

        Re: What's the point?

        Each to their own. Yale locks are a menace if you regularly walk out your door, thinking your keys are still in your pockets/the jacket you're currently wearing etc. The pat-down-your-pockets when you try to lock the door behind you is more effective, IMHO.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's the point?

      Actually, you can already have physical keys encoded to multiple physical locks (I know Abloy makes such systems, I'm sure there are more), so you can have a key that open all your locks in the house, your kid can have a key which opens only some doors etc. Not cheap, but don't cost an arm and a leg either.

  6. ukgnome
    Big Brother

    Proteus IV

    "Bzzt Once I have let you in and put the kettle on will you let me out of this box? Bzzzt"

  7. Alan 6

    OK if you don't care about insurance

    You need a proper lock with a physical key on all outside doors of a property or your insurance won't pay out.

    Even office buildings with electrionic locks also have to have a keyed locked.

    If you do go the electronic lock route and to hell with insurance you need to make the decision whether to have your lock as fail safe, so if the power goes the lock springs open, or fail secure so the lock is fastened when the power goes (this is what would have happened in the real world to the vault in Die Hard). One way all your valuables disappear during a powercut, the other way you die when fire breaks out and your fuses blow.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: OK if you don't care about insurance

      It sure isn't that way in the U.S. Our office is dongle + keypad and my house is dongle only. The doors on both open from the inside without dongle or code or power, for fire safety. I get an insurance discount at both because of the fire suppression system so the insurance man knows I've done this.

    2. johnnytruant

      Re: OK if you don't care about insurance

      Many home insurers won't cover you if you have these puny little cylinder locks anyway, regardless of electronic or not.

      Multipoint frame locks or hefty Yales only.

  8. Blofeld's Cat


    Bowman: "Open the kitchen door, HAL"

    HAL: "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."

    Bowman: "What's the problem?"

    HAL: "I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do."

    Bowman: "What are you talking about, HAL?"

    HAL: "I know that you and Frank are planning to use the microwave to cook bacon. And I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen."

  9. Steve 13
    Thumb Down

    I'm trying really hard to think of something that it would actually be useful to have turned on when I was at my front door and waving my phone at it.

    The only thing I can come up with is the burglar alarm. In fact if the 'house' could reliably work out when everyone had left, and arm it automatically that would be even better. But I suspect that the number of failures of that (arming when it shouldn't, not arming when it should) would be pretty high given technology at the moment, and so a keypad is less cool, but far more reliable.

    Re: the general idea, rather than having the door lock turn on the kettle, having the door lock publish an event to a central management module would be much better, at least then I can configure things to listen for that event, be that the kettle, the burglar alarm, or something else.

    1. lawndart


      That was my train of thought.

      Two regular keys, one locks the house sets the alarm and switches off unneccesary appliances when used, for when you are all out of the house. It disables the alarm when you use it to unlock the door, and may be used to trigger the kettle or other equipment as required.

      The other just locks or unlocks the door, for when you are at home and want to lock up behind you.

  10. Mystic Megabyte


    Buy one August

    Search YouTube for "Bump Key"

    Open any August


    Disclaimer: Judging by the brief glimpse of the physical key at 1:41

  11. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


    But who fills the kettle with water first?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wonderful

      "But who fills the kettle with water first?"

      An instant heater connected to the mains water supply? A bit like a updated Teasmade.

      You would probably have to make sure you had washed up after breakfast though. Sounds like the sort of thing that would only appeal to middle management types who always have a minimal desktop - with their pencils neatly lined up.

    2. Kubla Cant

      Re: Wonderful

      But who fills the kettle with water first?

      Exactly. It reminds me of an audio system I once owned. The remote control had a button that opened the CD tray, so you could do so from the other side of the room without leaving your chair. After months of practice I was able to throw a CD into the tray from a distance of ten feet, but could never work out a way to get the old one out first.

  12. jonathanb Silver badge

    Solution looking for a problem?

    That sort of thing sounds like it might be useful for hotel bedrooms, except it already exists and is in widespread use, though usually in the form of magnetic swipe cards rather than anything more fancy.

    Otherwise, what it is easier? Take a bit of metal out your pocket, stick it in a hole in the door, rotate 360°, remove and open door. Alternatively, take phone out of pocket, enter passcode or swipe gesture, fire up lock app, press appropriate button, open door.

    I don't always want to switch on the kettle when I return home. If it is hot, I'd rather have a cold drink from the fridge, and sometimes I don't feel thirsty and don't want a drink at all. If I do, flipping the switch on the kettle itself isn't that difficult.

  13. Haku

    Also: Kevo

    Shown on Shark Tank (the US equiv. of Dragon's Den) a year ago, is in pre-order stage:

  14. Winkypop Silver badge


    But only if it can make all the house lights go on and off to a 'blib blib' sound when locking and unlocking.

    1. johnnytruant

      Re: Maybe

      brb, wiring all lights into front door lock.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It can already be done..but..

    As a programmer of Crestron and Control4 home automations systems, I can reveal that this has been possible for years. However, no home automation programmer in their right mind would do it. The problem being that you wouldn't know if the kettle had water in it and at this point in time there is no kettle capable of responding to a water full/empty variable. I'm not sure it's something I would do, even if there was a kettle capable of supplying the relevant data. We do however routinely turn on lights, turn off alarms, start music playing etc. when the door is unlocked.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have none of you ever forgotten whether you locked the door

    I'm forever distracted when I lock up, and thus many miles from home wishing I could remember if I locked the door or not, then returning back to check.

    So for me, it's not so much any perceived extra convenience of the actual lock mechanism, a key works for me too... no, for me it's about being able to remotely check and lock the door.

    I'd love one of these just so I can do that.

    Yep, have an AlertMe system (they did alarms once!), that arms when everyone has left, but that's not quite the same as this. And this is what I'd like. I know others who fall into this camp too.

    Anonymous so you don't got checking my front door for me :)

  17. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Well, it does seem marginaly more useful than this...

    Socail networked lamps

    Adrian McEwen, one of the founders of Good Night Lamp, a London Tech City-based start-up, explained how his company's wi-fi lamps aim to turn light into a "physical social network" for the globalised, internet age.

    Apparenty, you buy a set, keep the big one and give the small ones to family and friends, plug 'em all into WiFi and whenever you turn on your big lamp, all the other little ones turn on via the interwebs to let you your friends know you turned on your lamp. I suppose it beats having to facebrick or twatter every last action you take if you can get your devices to do it for you.

    Twitter: John has just taken a dump. <from his WiFi bog>

    Twitter: John just left the house. <from his WiFi door>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, it does seem marginaly more useful than this...


      Twitter: John has just taken a dump. <from his WiFi bog>

      Twitter: John just left the house. <from his WiFi door>

      That is exactly why I will never ever join twitter (Twatter).

      I am sure that a few wannabe 'Z' list celebs are already drooling at the mouth at the prospect of even more 'exposure' of their frankly boring lives but (dons Grumpy Old Man Trilby) as far as I'm concerned this is all stuff we really don't need to know.

      The potential security risks of this are just astronomical. If I worked for the company that carried the idiots house and contents insurance I look very carefully at all and any claims that might originate from that location.

      Life is complicated enough as it is without this load of <redacted>.

      Takes off Trilby and takes a bow muttering 'I thank you'.

      (you have to be really old and by definition grumpy to know the reference)

  18. ecofeco Silver badge


    So after they steal my phone, then steal car by remote, they can rob my house. By remote.

    Is the 21st century super cool or what?!

    <me after the insurance won't pay out.

  19. pipp


    So if I forget to pick up my phone in the morning, this means I'm locked out of the house too?

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