Advancing your home into the era of connected living can in some instances lead to getting disconnected―from your physical keys. This dichotomy is exemplified by the ENTR Smart Door Lock, a sveltely-designed smart-home product capable of controlling entry to your home through purely digital keys. And key to ensuring this disconnected state is turned into a positive: A broad range of ENTR access alternatives, including smartphone app, handheld remote, touchpad reader with PIN codes, and fingerprint reader options.
A flexible solution for connected living, the ENTR Smart Door Lock is designed around a digital key model and can be controlled with smartphones, remote controls, touchpads, and fingerprint readers.
Designed primarily for the European consumer market, these glossy black-and-white locks can be easily retrofitted to many of the integrated multipoint door lock systems that are the continental rule here rather than the exception, and are compatible with a wide range of doors due to their reliance on metric-sized ENTR Euro profile lock cylinders.
In contrast to the Yale Assure Lock with Bluetooth we recently reviewed―which is designed to replace deadbolt hardware on both sides of an entry door―this ENTR lock unit and its integrated electronics are located strictly on the inside of the door, with just a traditional key slot visible from the outside. Both the Yale Assure and ENTR smart locks are from the same ASSA ABLOY family of companies.
As there is no substitute for hands-on learning, we brought the ENTR Smart Door Lock Solution and a cadre of accessories into our living and breathing smart home, then installed and tested the kit on a European-spec door outfitted with a Yale multipoint door lock and contemporary lever set. Along the way, we also produced a video, entitled ENTR Smart Door Lock: Unbox. Install. Operate.
Out of the box
The interior-facing side of the ENTR lock unit is characterized by its large door knob―which serves as a cylindrical shroud for the lock motor mechanism―and a hefty metal base plate. A removable electrical module mates neatly onto the base plate, and houses a rechargeable battery, Bluetooth radio, and associated electronics. The front surface of the electrical module is a touchscreen, primarily used for configuring various settings and pairing Bluetooth-equipped accessories and smartphones.
The ENTR lock unit safely installs on the interior side of the door and has a cylindrical knob which conceals the lock motor mechanism. A removable electrical module includes a rechargeable battery, electronics, and Bluetooth radio.
The other major component here is the dedicated ENTR lock cylinder, which has a special drive adapter on the interior side to mate with the lock motor. The cylinder will need to be ordered to the specific dimensions of your door and its existing lock hardware. For our 60-mm door and its integral Yale multipoint gearbox setup, we specified a 31×35-mm cylinder. The exterior portion of the cylinder has a conventional key slot, and ENTR is packaged with 2 keys.
As they are designed primarily for the European consumer market, the black-and-white ENTR smart locks can be retrofitted to many multipoint door lock systems and integrate with metric-sized ENTR Euro profile lock cylinders.
Other components included in the standard kit are a handheld remote control that is roughly the size of a physical key, and a 12V battery charger that plugs directly into a wall outlet. A cable on the charger plugs into the bottom of the electrical module.
Our installation was rounded out with two optional ENTR accessories. The ENTR Wire-Free Charger is designed to charge the lock unit without the need for the standard wired 12V battery charger, and its clip-on hanger enables it to dangle beneath the lock during charging. The ENTR Fingerprint Reader is a wall-mounted biometric security device, and doubles as a touchpad for inputting assigned PIN codes.
Equipped with a clip-on hanger, the optional ENTR Wire-Free Charger is designed to charge the lock unit wirelessly. The standard wired 12V battery charger can also be used by plugging it directly into the bottom of the lock housing.
All of the networked ENTR accessories and the smartphone app require that a pairing process be conducted in close proximity to the ENTR lock unit.
We found installation of the ENTR smart lock hardware to be a straightforward and rapid process, which begins by attaching the ENTR cylinder to the lock unit. The cylinder is secured to the lock unit with a single screw, though the electrical module needs to be removed in order to accomplish that. Then the lock unit and cylinder are carefully guided into the door opening, and secured with a single long screw through the faceplate and into the cylinder.
With the lock unit in place, we used its touchscreen to set the master PIN code, configured the lock to automatically re-lock itself after opening, then paired the handheld remote control and the fingerprint reader. We also downloaded the latest version of the ENTR app to an Apple iPhone 6 Plus smartphone, then paired it with the lock.
Usage Case 1: Inside the door
From the inside, the lock can be operated manually by depressing the knob and rotating it clockwise or counterclockwise. But once you get accustomed to using the touch-sensitive slide buttons―recessed grooves on both sides of the touchscreen panel―you will probably not bother using the knob again. Sliding your fingers downward on both recessed grooves activates the motor and causes the lock to immediately unlock. Conversely, sliding your fingers upward instantly locks it. And these actions work even when wearing gloves, as we demonstrate in our video.
Usage Case 2: ENTR app with smartphone
By installing the ENTR app on a supported Apple iOS or Android mobile device―including various smartphones―homeowners can enable a highly flexible digital key access method for their doors. Once the homeowner goes through the initial setup of the owner account and a pairing process, the app facilitates the use of simple swipe-down and swipe-up gestures to unlock and lock the door. Then, by tapping the lock icon, additional users with unique digital key codes can be generated and invited to use the lock through their own ENTR apps. All of these interactions between app and lock are implemented via secure Bluetooth communications.
Available on Apple iOS and Android smartphones, the ENTR app enables swipe-down and swipe-up gestures to unlock and lock the door. Multiple locks can be paired with the same smartphone.
In addition to providing the capability to configure and control multiple ENTR locks, the app can be used to set various global lock settings, such as manual or automatic locking, and also displays the battery level of the lock.
Directly through the ENTR app, a homeowner can share digital keys by generating additional user accounts. Once these users accept the invitation, they can use the lock through their own ENTR apps.
When adding users to a given lock, digital key codes can be shared which have an expiration time ranging from 3 to 72 hours―the amount of time the user has to activate the code and pair their app with the correct ENTR lock. After the set duration, the key code expires and the account is deactivated. The lock owner can enable and disable previously activated user accounts as desired.
We appreciated the rock-solid operation and positive feedback provided by the ENTR app. The lock responded immediately to lock and unlock gestures time after time, and real-time updating of its graduated display allowed us to see at a glance whether the ENTR unit was locked or unlocked―though a user must be within the working range of Bluetooth.
Usage Case 3: Remote control
Once an ENTR handheld remote control has been paired with the lock, using it could not be simpler, and is vastly superior to operating with a physical key. Just press the button on the remote as you approach the door and the ENTR lock responds. After a few seconds of mechanical whir, just push down on the door lever to enter. And this too works with gloves on―a benefit on blustery winter days. Multiple remote controls can be paired with the same lock.
Two of the access methods include the standard ENTR handheld remote control (left) and the optional biometric fingerprint reader module. The fingerprint reader can also be used in touchpad mode by tapping PIN codes.
Usage Case 4: Fingerprint reader
Designed to be mounted on a door frame or nearby wall, the fingerprint reader is a highly flexible security accessory and can support up to 20 unique users. For each user, two different fingerprints and one PIN code can be set. Up to 7 day-of-the-week and time schedules can also be set per user.
The reader works splendidly in its native biometric mode. One simply places a finger on the scanner, and when the reader responds with a short beep and a white LED, a swipe down gesture triggers authentication mode. Authorized fingerprints elicit a blue LED and the ENTR unlock sequence commences, while unauthorized fingerprints warrant a red LED and the device goes into standby mode.
For the tightest security, dual-factor authentication can be set, which requires users to first swipe a finger then type in a PIN code to open the door.
The fingerprint reader can also be used in touchpad mode. The user taps the touchscreen to wake the device, then types in their unique assigned PIN code to unlock.
And while we did not test it, an optional wall-mounted ENTR touchpad reader is available, which is similar in form to the fingerprint reader but does not have the biometric scanner.
On the exterior of the door, all that is visible is a conventional key slot. Traditional keys can always be used for entry, even if the ENTR lock unit is switched off.
Usage Case 5: Physical key from the outside
From the outside, ENTR is truly a stealth door security solution. There are no visual clues available to passers-by: they simply see a conventional key slot and nothing more. Of course, that key slot is still fully functional, assuming one has the correct physical key.
For homeowners with entry doors that incorporate standard Euro profile lock cylinders, the ENTR Smart Door Lock Solution presents a secure, convenient, and flexible on-ramp to the age of connected living. Furthermore, the benefits of this key-free approach to door security can be extended to additional users by enabling access for them through smartphone app, handheld remote, touchpad reader, and fingerprint reader options.
More info about this topic:
Smart home security your way: Yale Assure Lock with Bluetooth
Smart locks to play key role in move to connected living
eBook: Smart-Home Security Report 2016