When August's Smart Lock debuted last year, founders Yves Béhar and Jason Johnson made much of the fact that communicating with the hardware via Bluetooth is more reliable than depending on a potentially spotty WiFi connection. That was, however, a narrow view of what August would eventually grow to encompass: the integration of a fully connected home.
The hardware August released this week at CES is Connect, a gizmo that plugs into a wall socket that provides the Smart Lock with—you guessed it—WiFi capability. Whereas the Smart Lock app could only connect with the lock hardware within close range, tying in an Internet connection now lets users immediately check the status of their lock, from afar, or buzz in guests remotely. "While the existing Bluetooth connectivity in the August Smart Lock allows it to be a truly offline, independent device," says co-founder and CEO Jason Johnson, "August Connect enhances that core offering with new benefits such as real time and WiFi Internet connectivity."
Furthering this endeavor is the release of August's private API, which allows the Smart Lock to work with vetted partners in home security and automation. The first such partner, announced this week, is Nest: Users can set their existing Nest Learning Thermostat™ to "Home" upon unlocking to start heating or cooling the house, and "Away" upon locking to help save energy. Additional integration partners include home automation platforms such as SmartThings and Logitech Harmony, with others in development.