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Netatmo’s HomeKit smart lock uses physical NFC keys

Netatmo just added a door lock to its portfolio of smart home gear. The creatively named Netatmo Smart Door Lock and Keys is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit standard, and it ships with three physical keys that use NFC to instantly and securely unlock the door mechanism when inserted into the lock. If you find yourself without one of the pre-paired keys, you can still unlock the door through the Netatmo Security app, the same app that manages Netatmo’s cameras and smart smoke alarm.

You can add additional NFC keys to the lock, or deactivate lost or stolen keys through the Security app. A key can also be configured to unlock multiple Netatmo Smart Door Locks in the same home or in different locations. Once the key is inserted, the mechanism must be manually rotated to release the deadbolt, exactly as you would with a regular key. There’s no hands-free or remote lock / unlock option, which might be a deal-breaker for many.

Image: Netatmo

Image: Netatmo

The lack of a motorized unit to release the deadbolt is why Netatmo can claim a two-year battery life from four AAA batteries. The lock can also be powered over a Micro USB jack if the batteries are dead after ignoring the audible warnings and app alerts that power is running low.

Invitations to lock and unlock the door can be sent to neighbors or guests over email, SMS, or WhatsApp. They include a link to a Netatmo Guest app, which is a stripped-down version of Netatmo’s regular app. Access can then be withdrawn at the owner’s discretion. The Smart Door Lock is also fitted with an accelerometer to detect vibrations associated with tampering.

Netatmo’s Smart Door Lock and Keys is launching in Europe at the end of 2020. (The company doesn’t have any plans for a US version yet.) It replaces existing European cylinder locks, and it can be adapted to the thickness of the door. It communicates over Bluetooth (not Wi-Fi) to the HomeKit hub, and all of the NFC security operations are stored and processed locally on the device.

Although pricing hasn’t been finalized, the Smart Door Lock and Keys kit is expected to cost between €350 and €400, which includes the lock, three keys, and do-it-yourself installation tools. An additional three NFC keys are expected to cost another €100. Fortunately, Netatmo’s lock doesn’t require a monthly subscription to operate, nor does it need an additional Netatmo hub to be installed on your home’s network.

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