Home Key Arrives

This is an Interesting Times article. A series in our blog that simply shares new and interesting technology or processes that may or may not have anything to do with website design.

Apple Begins Selling ‘Home Key’ Locks

Apple Stores in the U.S. are now selling the “Level Lock +” new house lock sets built purposely for Home Key found in Apple Wallet on iOS 15 or higher. It is the product of a joint venture between Apple and Level Home.

Once installed and configured, owners can unlock their door by proximity using either their iPhone or iWatch to gain access using the Home Key feature in Wallet. There is an option for express entry which simply requires the device with the key setup, or for more security, the need to first unlock Home Key with the device’s bio-metric system (Face ID or passcode).

How it works

The system works through NFC (Near Field Communications) and by sharing secure tokens between the iOS device and the lock set. Lock status and the ability to automate when the door is locked can be controlled from the app from anywhere.

Additionally, temporary keys can be shared with other people such as friends, the plumber or your dog walker. These shared keys can be enabled, disabled or removed at any time from the Home app.

Just the beginning…

Home Key is just one of several Home app components furthering Apple’s mission to transfer physical stuff like cash, cards and keys from your pockets to your phone.

Similar is the Car Key component, (which until this year was unique to certain BMW vehicles), locks and unlocks as well as starts the car. Car Key is now also offered on select Kia and Hyundai Genesis 2022 models. Additional models and car makers are likely to come aboard through the twenties.

Other components include support for participating corporate offices employee ID badges and key cards to allow access to workplaces in a very similar fashion as Home Key.

Participating hotel chains also offer “Room Key” which is similar to Home Key except for your hotel room. An optional augmentation or replacement for physical key cards and Dallas keys, users can simply add their hotel key to Apple Wallet. What’s more, Wallet also tracks key use and archives the key on checkout to avoid confusion as you travel!

Avoiding dead phone lockouts

Newer iPhone and iWatch models also have a reserved power setup so that a “dead” device that needs charging can still open locks or start cars that are using express mode unlocking.