Many a smart lock have made their way around the Newegg offices, and just like snowflakes they are each slightly different. Some are minimalistic, discrete, and retrofit the standard lock, while others are massive hunks of metal that take door modifications to install and are laden with bells and whistles. Want to unlock your door via voice command? You can do it. Use fingerprints to open doors? Go for it. Deactivate locks when you walk up with your smart phone? There’s a lock for that.
The one consistent theme across the board with smart locks is giving owners complete transparency into when their doors are opened, and who is doing it. Regardless of the particular method, the ultimate goal is to have the same level of control over your home, whether you need to let someone in or be sure people are kept out.
igloohome thinks they have a unique solution to the smart lock market that takes a different approach to access control. But does unique necessarily mean better?
The igloohome smart locks
A startup from Singapore, igloohome offers two current access control options in the form of a smart Deadbolt and a smart Keybox, while a smart doorknob unit is in the works. While their products could be used by anyone in the home, their products have a variety of features that are skewed towards the rental & real estate market. The idea is to give easy access when the situation calls for it, and have control over who is coming and going.
Smart lock use
Interestingly enough, both the smart Deadbolt and the lock box have the same general features, just in different physical forms. Both can be accessed for regular use in one of two ways: pin code or Bluetooth key via the app.
Up to 285 pin codes can be generated, which can be set for one-time use, a specific date range, or permanent activity. What’s neat is that the pin codes and Bluetooth keys are sent from the app to the recipient’s phone automatically, so the receiving phone doesn’t need to have the igloohome app nor does either phone have to be in Bluetooth range.
Probably the coolest feature (while not applicable for everyone) is the synchronization with Airbnb. Owners who link their account can have the igloohome auto-generate a pin code for the duration that a visitor is staying, and send it to them. This takes out any of the hassle of being on-hand to meet a guest, or last-minute communication errors. Again this isn’t a feature that everyone will use, and it does have additional fees, but a slick feature nonetheless.
Smart lock security
Of course regardless of any cutesy features, the most important factor is whether or not it works to keep the access point secure. From what I can tell so far from using it, it does a pretty good job. While I haven’t tried hacking it or breaking in, the security seems sound.
The auto-relock can be customized to anywhere from five seconds to two minutes after a successful unlock, and you can add decoy digits before the actual pin. The idea here is you can control how tight your own security is.
The deadbolt has a privacy mode that shuts down all electronic access, and a tamper-proof alarm that goes off if someone tries to remove it from the door. Additionally, after five unsuccessful attempts to enter with the pin the unit is on lockdown for five minutes. As with other smart locks, you can view access logs, manage users, create pins, and monitor scheduled pins via the app.
The $199 igloohome Deadbolt is sleek, with a glossy black touchpad face, matte metal sides, and a matte metal back. Touchpad buttons are backlit with the standard “smart home blue” LED, and a small speaker emits the button noise and alarm when triggered.
The touchpad face is much smaller than many keypad locks, coming in at 2.4” x 5.6” x 1.2”. It is lighter, lower profile, and less bulky than the indoor portion of the unit by a longshot, and looks quite handsome on the door. Unfortunately, the lock only comes in the matte black, which won’t match with some of the handle finishes out there, but we can hope in the near future they release more colors to compliment the standard doorknob finishes.
Element-proofing is limited to IP45 for the deadbolt and IP54 for the key lock box, so caution should be taken to ensure shelter is available to shield from heavy water exposure.
While similar in style to the deadbolt, the lock box is definitely the bigger brother of the two, and the construction has it built like a tank. At 3.3 pounds and 4.5” x 6.5” 1.3”, the zinc alloy body can withstand the compression of 1,000kg and while I didn’t test this I feel like it is plausible. With a price tag of $169, the price is definitely no lightweight either.
The latch has a rubber coating to protect whatever surface it is clamped to, and for storage the compartment can fit six physical keys or seven keycards (or a combination of both).
Both units are capable of stretching their power over nine months, and when the power levels get below 20% the units give warning notifications on the app and on the unit itself. Should you decide to neglect the locks further and they die completely, the steel studs on the bottom of the units can be used as contact points for a jump with a 9V battery.
igloohome’s smart Deadbolt also has a physical backup keyhole on the front of the unit, hidden beneath a plastic cap. This is pretty low key, and I actually didn’t realize this was even an access point at first.
Is an igloohome a smarter home?
The folks at igloohome have done something pretty unique with their smart Deadbolt and smart Keybox, and from a design perspective they look good. The Deadbolt is reasonably space efficient on the door, but unfortunately doesn’t come in color-matched options to the typical hardware finishes. The interface is easy enough to navigate through and operate, and the ability to send digital pin codes or Bluetooth keys seamlessly is a big plus.
Even without the Airbnb application, the Deadbolt is a good fit for most people out there looking to simply have greater security. The keybox would be less practical to the average consumer; however a great fit for real estate agents or anyone else who regularly needs to deliver keyed access remotely.
The joint igloohome app functionality makes igloohome a very useful solution for a targeted group of customers, for which the various functions would all find solid use. For the wider customer base, their latest model looks to be a star on the horizon for a new smart home.