August Home soon will have a smart door lock built for home-automation integration – the new August Smart Lock Pro (Z-Wave) – available exclusively to professional security dealers and home-technology specialists (CEDIA channel).
Debuting this week at the International Security Conference (ISC West 2017), the product will communicate directly with third-party smart-home systems and hubs, unlike August’s current solution, which communicates via Bluetooth (BLE) to a Wi-Fi hub, with integration via the cloud.
The effort is “part of making August more applicable to more channels,” says August chief revenue officer Nate Williams. “We spent a lot of time talking with distributors and other partners. We kept hearing the requirement of greater interoperability.”
‘Hero’ Lock for the Pro Channel
August is the ultimate non-invasive DIY door lock. It does not require the wholesale replacement of existing deadbolts and related hardware, which can be much more challenging than it seems. Instead, August simply replaces the interior knob, sliding over the spindle that moves the latch.
“When you look at August vs. other options, you see differentiation in that it’s a retrofit,” Williams says. “The install is six to eight minutes.”
Every minute matters when it comes to mass-market providers, be they security dealers, cable companies or home-technology pros.
Beyond the ease of installation, pros like the visibility of August, a “hero product” available
Meanwhile, the pros appreciate the fact that August is a “hero” product, available through 6,000 retail outlets including Lowe’s, Best Buy, Walmart and Apple stores.
“Hero products are available everywhere,” Williams says. “Those are the products they [customers] want to see. That’s where dealers are getting demand.”
This fall, when the August Pro Z-Wave lock is expected to ship, dealers will be able to provide plenty of integration options, given the 1,700+ products that employ Z-Wave.
“For us it’s a no-brainer,” says Williams, whose former employer Greenwave Systems has powered millions of Z-Wave-enabled gateways for Verizon FiOS customers.
August wants to ensure that dealers in the security and CEDIA channels can incorporate a “hero lock” in their smart-home ecosystems – a task that is infinitely simpler with a Z-Wave solution that enables direct communications from the alarm panel or home-automation hub.
August Ups Commitment to Pros
August began its pro-channel initiatives in 2015, hiring industry veteran Mike Buckingham as Director of August Pro.
Since then, the company has brought on key distributors in the CEDIA and security channels, including ADI, AVAD, Worthington and Capitols Sales. Buckingham says August now has more than 500 dealers.
He says the “consistent feedback” from pros is: “Can we do something specific for the channel?”
It’s a request that comes often to makers of DIY products that want to attract the pros.
“I think a lot of hero startups, when they approach a channel like security or CEDIA, if they don’t have an institutional background, it’s hard,” Williams says. “We started slow, got into distribution, and got beat over the head with Z-Wave. Now we have a SKU dedicated to the channel – in less than a year – thanks to Mike.”
He adds that the Z-Wave lock is just the “first in a series of products localized for the pro channel.”
As for integrating with August’s existing Bluetooth/Wi-Fi solution, the company is “moving forward on a couple integrations through the cloud,” Buckingham says, “but Z-Wave interoperability gets us to more integrations, faster.”
In addition to the door locks, August offers a video doorbell, as well as an outdoor keypad that works with the ecosystem.