Technology

Matter-compatible smart locks on the way: Yale Assure 2 range

Yale has announced that it will be launching a new range of Matter-compatible smart locks in the fall – these are improved versions of its existing Assure Lock range. Material support will likely be added some time after the initial launch.

You can open two of the models with your voice, iPhone, Apple Watch, keyboard code or physical key; the other two models lack the physical key lock…

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One of the great benefits of HomeKit is that you can control all your smart home devices via the Home app, as well as via Siri.

Matter is a new standard designed to deliver exactly the same benefits to devices not only on the Apple platform, but in other ecosystems such as Google, Samsung and Amazon. For Apple users, this means that if a device is Matter compliant, it is effectively HomeKit compliant.

Matter devices can also talk directly to each other, so if your home Wi-Fi coverage is patchy, your commands may be passed from device to device.

For some existing smart home products, the firmware can be upgraded to support Matter.

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Yale’s upcoming Matter-compatible smart locks

The locks get a new design. Yale says the new versions are 30% smaller, but still large enough to be compatible with most door sizes used in the US.

While the new design has a sleeker, more modern look, the locks will be available in the same three finishes as the existing models: black suede, oil-rubbed bronze and satin nickel.

Anyone installing a smart lock for a household with tech and less tech residents would be well advised to opt for models with a key slot, so anyone grumpy about new technology can continue to unlock the door with a key. However, if you opt for a keyless model, you don’t have to worry about a dead battery shutting you out: you can put a 9v battery on the contacts on the underside of the lock to re-enable keyless entry.

Yale says prices will run from $160 to $260. You can choose between Bluetooth-only and Wi-Fi models, with the latter recommended for full HomeKit integration.

A nice touch is that the locks can be firmware upgradeable after purchase. For example, if you opt for a Bluetooth-only model, you can then add Wi-Fi capabilities (for a fee).

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We were already impressed with the existing version, which we tested in 2018.

The Yale Assure Lock SL comes with almost everything you need to install the smart lock on your door. You should have a screwdriver and you may need different tools depending on your door, but for the most part it should be a simple affair […]

Once the hardware setup is complete, you can install the Yale Secure app, configure the keyboard, and set up HomeKit […]

Once everything is installed (watch our video above for a step-by-step installation guide), it only takes a few minutes to configure the master passcode and enable the iM1 network module via the external touchscreen keyboard. Although the keyboard has no haptic feedback, the speakers emit an audible tone to confirm correct input from the keyboard. The speakers will also provide instructions when it comes to using and configuring the Assure Lock SL […]

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HomeKit support works exactly as expected, allowing users to control the lock using the Home app, Siri commands, or automation.

The new models look neater, and Matter support is a nice bonus for those with a lot of smart home devices, especially if the Wi-Fi coverage around your front door is weak. Matter support requires an optional module, priced at $80.

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