Startup smartlock maker Latch has created a new HomeKit-enabled deadbolt that lets users unlock their door with Siri using the iOS Home app, TechCrunch reports. The device includes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities and boasts a wide-angle camera, a touchscreen and various other sensors alongside a traditional key slot for those who prefer to unlock the door the old-fashioned way. The Latch C can also provide temporary access to service providers or guests and maintains a digital log of who goes in and out using the camera. The company is backed by various real estate funds and is more business-facing than consumer-facing — meaning its Latch C deadbolt, Latch M mortise doorknob/lock and Latch R electronic reader for apartment building entrances are geared toward the owners of rental properties.
The move by smarthome device makers toward selling directly to home builders is nothing new, but Latch Co-founder Luke Schoenfelder said going straight to the businesses renting properties brings the ability to link a door lock to the house’s other HomeKit products will bring the experience to a group of people who may have seen it as out of their reach. “The next generation of consumers, many of them are not going to own their own homes. And are not going to own their own homes for quite a bit of time. And so the desire to bring the HomeKit experience to them is one of the really exciting things about this partnership,” Schoenfelder said. “We’re able to bring this HomeKit experience to products and spaces that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to have because if you don’t own your own place you’re not able to install a smart lock.” Each Latch C is $299, plus the added cost of a Latch software subscription plan, and requires six AA batteries estimated to last 12 months with average use. The company is taking pre-orders now with deliveries expected to begin in the fall.