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Yale Bows Automated Locks with ZigBee, Control4 Integration

Yale's ZigBee-enabled electronic door locks can be opened, closed, delayed, monitored and otherwise automated via smart phone, Internet or remote control; touchpad locks are virtually indestructible.

The touchpad on the Yale lock comes alive when you swipe it with three fingers. No, the numbers do not scramble with each appearance for extra security.
Julie Jacobson · September 23, 2010

Yale Locks is introducing its first automated locks for the residential market and the first units are on display at CEDIA Expo.

CE Pro has the exclusive first look at the products, integrated with a Control4 home automation system.

Yale is showing two locks, including a unit with a built-in keypad and one with a touchscreen that reveals a digital keypad when you swipe it with three fingers.

Both units have a slot inside for a wireless radio. Yale is showing the locks with a ZigBee low-rate RF radio, but the piece can easily be swapped out for a Z-Wave equivalent, says Jason Williams, director of product management, Electronic Access Control, for Assa Abloy, which owns Yale.

Assa Abloy is a leader in access control in the commercial/industrial market – pioneering door locks with built-in WiFi - but this is the company’s first venture into the residential space with electronic locks. “This is the first lock we built from the ground up just for this market,” says Williams.

Yale is showing the locks working with software the company wrote for Control4’s 4Store app store.

Our video shows how the locks can be triggered remotely via Control4, how users can be logged into the system, and how delays can be set in the software, for example, locking the door 30 seconds after it is unlocked. A computer or automation system is not required to program the Yale locks. The products have small speakers built in, and voice prompts to assist in programming.

Up to 250 codes can be stored in the locks, which should be ample for very large households.

The ZigBee radio in the Yale lock can easily be snapped out and replaced with a Z-Wave radio.

The touchscreen lock is virtually indestructible, as Yale shows in a “durability” video. The thing can endure rain, cold, sledgehammers, crowbars and even blow torches.

One problem with electronic door locks in the residential market is that the plunder seldom matches right up to the strike. Often, you have to push or pull the knob to get it just right. To solve this issue, the Yale bolts have a slight taper “so you have a little more play,” says Williams. “It solves about 90- to 95-percent of the cases. The strike that receives it is also a little bit wider.”

Control4 is the first partner for Yale, which plans next to create a Z-Wave version of the locks for retail channels. Numerous Z-wave-compatible controllers are available for controlling the locks.

Yale does not plan to create its own Internet gateway for the locks or develop its own back-end service like Schlage Link. Schlage Link is a suite of home-control products, including electronic door locks, that communicate with Schlage’s own automation server. The service starts at $9 per month.

Black & Decker also offers a line of ZigBee-enabled automated door locks, including products sold under the Kwikset and Baldwin brands. Both offer integration with Control4 and other third-party control systems.

The Yale products will retail for about $200 to $400. They are expected to ship in the spring of 2011.

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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics

Security · News · Access Control · Assa Abloy · CEDIA Expo · Control4 · Yale · Z-Wave · All Topics
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