Lock manufacturer Schlage has just begun an advertising campaign on TV promoting a new front door lock that can be unlocked remotedly. Their commercial depicts a homeowner in Seattle unlocking a door far away for a friend just by pressing a few button on his cell phone.
*MOUSE PRINT: In case you didn’t catch that fine print disclosure on the bottom of the screen, it said:
“Monthly fee is required for the remote featured benefits. Product is simulated and requires additional third party equipment and service for proper functioning.”
A monthly fee to unlock your front door in an emergency? What will they think of next? And the cost here is key — $12.99 a month. That’s not insignificant. What’s wrong with the old-fashioned way — keeping a spare key in the flower pot — and that’s free?
As to what else you need to make this work:
– a compatible cell phone with Internet access (or remote computer);
– a Schlage Link bridge — a device that sends wireless signals to the lock
– an Internet router — you plug the bridge into the router
– a live broadband Internet connection
The lock pictured in their commercial, incidentally, is just a latch type lock. If you want a deadbolt, which provides more security for your home, it does not lock/unlock remotely as depicted in the commercial.
*MOUSE PRINT: From Schlage’s FAQ:
“For the Schlage Wireless Deadbolt, however, you can remotely activate the lock which makes it possible for the door to be unlocked by someone turning the outside thumbturn. Since door frames aren’t always aligned and a deadbolt can require more leverage to engage or disengage, the deadbolt requires manual operation.”
The starter kit that Schlage sells is $299.