It's safe to say that the $250 August smart lock is off to a good start, if for no other reason than it's already landed a coveted spot on Apple Store shelves. But consumers aren't exactly racing to ditch their keys in favor of unlocking the front door with a smartphone, so there's still plenty of room for other companies to try their hand. Today we're getting a look at one of those alternative: it's called Sesame. And if nothing else, it aggressively undercuts August on price.
Sesame follows the same basic idea as August and other smart locks. You attach it to the lock on the inside of your door and, when in range, pull out your smartphone to quickly get inside. There's also an accelerometer inside that can open up when it detects a unique knock pattern, a convenient (though not terribly safe) entry method. Sesame's creators claim their product (now on Kickstarter aiming for a funding goal of $100,000) is superior to August in numerous ways. First, the setup process is basically instant. Whereas August comes with an installation kit, Sesame is attached to your existing deadbolt using a strip of 3M adhesive — and that's it. Candy House, the company behind Sesame, says that a patent-pending, self-adjusting design allows the smart lock to adapt to nearly any deadbolt you'd find in the US.
Like August, the actual unlocking process uses Bluetooth, and Sesame has its own companion smartphone app for keeping track of who's come and gone or giving your friends remote access. To get the most out of the deal, you'll need a separate Wi-Fi access point to keep Sesame connected to the internet at all times. That's the only way you'll be able to check if the door's locked when away from home, for instance. Sesame's founders claim it makes the link to your smartphone in just one second versus the "7 seconds" they've clocked August at. They believe Sesame has superior battery life (500 days) and point to its cheaper price ($89 for the lock itself, or $139 with the Wi-Fi dongle) as the obvious selling point.
Sesame does seem to cross off some of the complaints and hassles that people have experienced with the August lock. But then again, August is a real product right now, and Sesame needs to rally smart home enthusiasts to execute on its vision. Plenty of questions remain about how it will all come together. If successful, Sesame will start shipping units out to Kickstarter backers in late April.