Tech

Amazon Alexa Locks Doors, Reassures Homeowners Their Property Is Safe

By Edge Ison , Mar 01, 2017 04:04 AM EST
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Alexa will soon be able to lock doors and verify if they are locked or not. Six lock manufacturers have partnered with Amazon to release smart locks that will work with the simplified Alexa Skill.

Thanks to Alexa, homeowners need not worry about the security of their properties provided they utilize locks that are compatible with the AI. The Amazon AI's improved skill set now works with smart locks from Kwikset, Schlage and Yale courtesy of the new Door Lock application program interface or API. The Skill has also been improved to simplify its compatibility with August, Vivid and Z-Wave products.

Previously, Alexa required users to indicate the specific Skill name. As CNET noted, users had to say something like, "Alexa, tell August to lock the door." Now, the voice command has been simplified thanks to the Door Lock API. Users can now ask their Alexa-enabled devices to lock doors equipped with the said smart locks by using simple voice commands such as, "Alexa, lock the front door." Furthermore, the homeowners can check if the doors are locked by simply asking "Alexa, is the door locked?"

Rob Martens, vice president of strategy and partnership of Schlage, explained that Alexa already has cloud-to-cloud integrations that allow it to operate lighting systems, thermostats, and similar smart devices. Through similar integrations, Alexa is also able to operate smart home systems from Z-Wave including Wink and Samsung SmartThings hubs. These same integrations were tweaked a bit so that smart locks from Schlage and the other brands can also be controlled by Alexa.

According to reports, Amazon has stated that the improved skill set will initially be limited to locking doors and verifying the status of the smart locks. It will not include the ability to unlock doors. The company, however, is working on different safety tools that will enable Alexa to unlock doors in a secure manner using the Door Lock API.

Amazon has allowed third-party developers to create Skills for Alexa through its Alexa Skills Kit. The platform has worked wonders as Alexa recently reached a milestone when it acquired a total of 10,000 Skills.

Alexa will lock doors that utilize Schlage's Connect Touchscreen Deadbolts and Kwikset SmartCode locks in the 910, 914 and 916 series. Yale has yet to indicate which of its products will work with Alexa.

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