From startup Level Home, the Level Lock aims to turn the smart lock market outside in with their planned release of a mechanism designed to fit entirely inside the door frame. The lock essentially replaces the interior workings of the original deadbolt with a six-stage, gearbox-like module, while retaining the original hardware on the interior and exterior of the door. This approach also facilitates the retention of the keyed portion of the original lock, so physical keys can still be used to lock and unlock the door.
Smart Tech and Simple Machines
Level says the gearbox design and related electronics will use minimal power, enabling the use of a single CR2 battery inside the bolt that’s expected to last more than a year. Rather than motorizing a legacy deadbolt mechanism that was designed around manual operation, this fresh-from-the-ground-up thinking delivers a powerful yet energy-efficient design by taking advantage of so-called simple machines—multiple sets of gears as mechanical levers.
Native Apple HomeKit Support
While the Level Home app will be the primary access method, native support for the Apple HomeKit ecosystem and the Siri voice assistant will provide more security and control options. Remote monitoring, control, and automations will also be available, though a separate Apple HomeKit Home Hub will be required in the home. Level Home was not the only company showing a new smart lock at CES 2020 with Apple HomeKit support: Both August Home and Netatmo did the same.
Furthermore, geofencing for automatically locking and unlocking the door will be supported, as well as flexible guest access privileges. And while there will be app support at launch for both Apple iOS and Android devices, there was no mention of support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, though that could well come later.
Level says they plan to start shipping the product in January 2020. Consumers can elect to sign up for the Level Reserve program to get a discounted price of $199 on the smart lock against what will be a $249 retail price.
Tom Kolnowski is the Chief Content Officer & Founder of Digitized House Media, LLC, the publisher of Digitized House | Guide to the Connected Home. When he isn’t writing about smart home technology, sustainability, and high-performance architecture, you’ll find him exploring faraway destinations with his family.