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The HomeKit smart lock from Netatmo uses physical NFC keys

Netatmo has just added a door lock to its portfolio of smart home appliances. The creatively named Netatmo Smart Door Lock and Keys is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit standard and comes with three physical keys that use NFC to instantly and safely unlock the door mechanism when placed in the lock. If you are without one of the pre-linked keys, you can still unlock the door via the Netatmo Security app, the same app that manages Netatmo cameras and the smart smoke alarm.

You can add extra NFC keys to the lock or deactivate lost or stolen keys via the security app. A key can also be configured to unlock multiple Netatmo Smart door locks in the same house or at different locations. Once the key has been inserted, the mechanism must be turned manually to release the dead bolt, exactly as you would with a regular key. There is no hands-free or remote locking / unlocking option, which can be a deal-breaker for many.

Image: Netatmo

Image: Netatmo

The lack of a motorized unit to release the night lock is the reason why Netatmo can claim a battery life of two years based on four AAA batteries. The lock can also be powered via a Micro USB connection if the batteries are empty after ignoring the audible warnings and app warnings that the battery is low.

Invitations to lock and unlock the door can be sent to neighbors or guests via e-mail, text message or WhatsApp. They contain a link to a Netatmo Guest app, a stripped-down version of the regular Netatmo app. Access can then be withdrawn at the owner’s discretion. The Smart Door Lock is also equipped with an accelerometer to detect vibrations associated with tampering.

Netatmo’s Smart Door Lock and Keys will be launched in Europe at the end of 2020. (The company has no plans for an American version yet.) It replaces existing European cylinder locks and can be adjusted to the thickness of the door. It communicates via Bluetooth (not Wi-Fi) to the HomeKit hub and all NFC security operations are stored locally and processed on the device.

Although the price has not yet been determined, the Smart Door Lock and Keys kit is expected to cost between € 350 and € 400, including the lock, three keys and do-it-yourself installation tools. An additional three NFC keys are expected to cost another € 100. Fortunately, the Netatmo lock does not require a monthly subscription to work, nor does it require an additional Netatmo hub to be installed on your home network.