The Next Generation Smart Door Lock Has Arrived


A smart door lock conversion should make your life easier. Most of the first generation of products that we saw were pretty cool, but limited. The next generation promised and delivered quite a bit more. The Sesame lock from Stanford startup Candy House looks to deliver on some of the promise that new security system options offer.

Smart locks are older that most people think. I’m going to outline the evolutionary steps the technology has taken and then I’m going to give you the low-down on the Sesame Smart Lock system.

The Evolution of the Smart Door Lock Began Simply

A basic smart door lock is a type of locking mechanism with three main characteristics. Firs it does not always require a physical key. Secure access can be granted to individuals quickly and easily (programmability). When needed, administrators can grant access remotely. Almost anyone that works in a corporate environment is familiar with the most basic first generation technologies that are the keycard and keypad systems. Door security technology evolved to include biometric systems for fingerprint and iris scanning.

Home smart door lock technology evolved differently. It started with door locks that could be opened with a numeric code or with a key. The next generation of residential lock technology usually dropped the keypad and incorporated wireless control, both from a mobile app and keyfob remotes like for our car alarms. The latest evolutionary jump will remove the requirement for even a keyfob remote.

Video Offers a Parallel Evolutionary Path in Home Security

Home video surveillance is another area of home security that is improving and offering new options along with door lock technology. We’ve seen doorbells and porch lights that incorporate audio and video. Couple something like this with a smart lock and controlling access to your home from anywhere is fast, easy, and secure.

The Sesame Door Lock Offers Simplicity and Security and a Better Price

The automated/connected door lock type that is the easiest to install slides over your existing deadbolt hardware on the inside and at most requires a tool that comes with the lock kit. The Sesame Smart Lock is one of these, but it adds features to others like it that I haven’t seen before. Other similar locks cost over $250. Sesame runs in the area of $150. Since the Bluetooth connectivity offers limited range (and capabilities), Candy House also offers a $50 Wi-Fi hub that opens up more possibilities. For those that can get in quickly enough, they are currently being offered for only $100.

Sesame Does What You’d Expect a Smart Door Lock to Do

The Sesame lock lets you lock and unlock the deadbolt from the Android or iOS app when the device is within range of the lock. The Wi-Fi hub you do this from anywhere your mobile device is connected to the Internet. Guest access can be easily granted also, although there is no word on whether they will charge for this like Kwikset’s Kevo.

Some Things You May Not Expect

Most companies that create a software-driven product fight tooth and nail to keep their software code secret. Candy House has made theirs open source. Both the app code and the firmware code. This means that if you’ve got the right knowledge and tools, you can greatly expand the capabilities of the system. They also pledge “military-grade” security with 256-bit encryption.

Sesame Comes in 5 Colors to Match or Contrast with Any D├ęcor

Candy House seems to have covered most of the main bases when it comes to colors. Black, white, and a silver case match most decors easily. A light pink stands out nicely. For slightly more, they also offer a beautiful woodgrain option.

Not Needing Your Key or Phone Out

Keyless entry started with using either a keyfob or the phone app to lock and unlock doors. Some of the newer systems go further and say that their apps can be programmed to unlock the door when you approach it. I find this problematic, unless the door automatically relocks if it isn’t opened. I like Sesame’s approach to not needing the app or key directly, it’s really James Bond. Candy House tells us that you can program the Sesame Door Lock to open when a special knock is given. This means that even the grandparents who don’t own smart devices can get in without a key.

What do you think? Does Sesame sound any better or worse than other smart door locks you’ve read about here?