Do you trust Apple to keep you safe at night? Firm launches smart lock for HomeKit

Apple has announced that a smart lock for your home will be one of the first HomeKit-ready devices to be sold through its US stores.

The device, called August, has been designed by Yves Béhar and joins Philips' remote-controlled Hue light bulbs, Belkin's WeMo switch and the iBaby monitor in Apple's smart home ecosystem.

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HomeKit was announced back in June with the goal of becoming the hub for controlling your own personal Internet of Things (IoT), but until recently not many products have supported the platform. iPhone users are able to operate their HomeKit-enabled devices simply by talking to Siri.

August was launched in 2013, but has not started shipping pre-orders until the last few months. The product consists of an electronic lock that provides keyless entry for your guests by connecting to their smartphones via Bluetooth. August users can specify when and for how long guests have access and the lock will automatically open as they approach, providing they have downloaded the app.

The device has a lot of potential uses ranging from baby sitters, house cleaners and dog walkers, and according to Béhar, is more secure than distributing multiple keys that are easily replicated. The ability to track everyone's coming and goings through the app's logbook adds another level of security that could prove useful to anyone renting out their home through sites like Airbnb and Craigslist.

With offices and cars adopting keyless entry systems, Béhar says it's time our homes caught up.

"We're rapidly moving into this keyless world, and naturally, we're going to want that same experience in our homes," he said.

Last year, the company received an $8 million (£5 million) investment from venture capital firms and $2 million (£1.2 million) from angel investors.

While customers may be persuaded to purchase August due to how simple it is to install – just a single screwdriver is needed – the price tag may be more off-putting. At $249, the device costs the same as Google's Nest thermostat, but August co-founder Jason Johnson believes there is a market for the product.

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"There are these little devices that are beautiful and magical in what they do," he said. "As a retailer, Apple has recognized that."