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October 19, 2009

Schlage: Unlock Your Front Door Remotely (but Not Cheaply)

Filed under: Business,Internet,Telephone — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:06 am

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.

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7 Comments

  1. I can’t think of much use for this. This product is going to be dead in the water. I hope their stockholders hold management accountable for this blunder.

    Comment by Shawn — October 19, 2009 @ 9:49 am
  2. Schalge has introduced a new product on the market. Will it survive? We will see. This is what a free market is about. Schlage is betting that there will be a demand sufficient for them to turn a profit. The market place will tell them whether or not they are right. We will know in 2-3 years if it is still being sold. Personally I don’t see an adequate cost-benefit ratio to justify buying one. It looks to me like an expensive novelty.

    Comment by John P. — October 19, 2009 @ 4:24 pm
  3. So then a hacker can not only get into my computer they dould hack into my home! Now what we need is Nortons anti-house piracy software.

    Comment by mitaliano — October 20, 2009 @ 6:49 am
  4. @mitaliano – That’s basically what I was thinking when I read this. With all the data breaches at other companies, can you imagine one with these guys? Remotely unlock the house you want to rob, empty it, and leave police baffled with no sign of forced entry. I’d want to see some serious assurances that their info is secure and their employees are reliable.

    Comment by Ron — October 20, 2009 @ 9:50 am
  5. Frankie’s solution: Spare keys and the know-how to use them!

    Works for me!

    Comment by Frankie — October 20, 2009 @ 10:49 pm
  6. The biggest risk is their centralized online system.

    Hack into that, and you can unlock X houses. I hope their not stupid enough to store addresses in the same system.

    No thanks… it would be cheaper/simpler/more secure to get a lock with a keypad.

    Comment by Robert — October 21, 2009 @ 11:46 am
  7. the item that drew me to the Schlage was the Trane thermostat that requires the wireless adapter. The very fine print on the box does say that a monthly fee is required. If you add up all the monthly fees for the 10 year life of the thermostat, you have over $1,500.00. For that I can run a Windows server and do many other things. $1,500.00 is a lot of money to have the house cool 15 minutes sooner. Sorry Schlage / Trane / Ingersol Rand. BJ

    Comment by Bob Johnson — June 17, 2010 @ 4:41 pm

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