Tech

Locking Your Door From Around the World: Hands On with CloudKey

Computers aren't the only devices ripe for technological innovation. SimpliciKey knows that it's time for houses to enter the digital age, and KeyCloud, unveiled at CES 2013, is helping consumers connect with their homes from anywhere in the world. Older versions of SimpliciKey only worked with a key fob in a radius of about 30 feet. Now, the business traveler can simply pull out her smartphone to make sure her son got home safe from school and see that all the doors are locked at the end of the night.

CloudKey provides the software management for the SimpliciKey deadbolt system. You can add up to 16 unique key codes, giving one to your babysitter, another to a mother-in-law and another to a neighbor who's taking care of your pet while you're away. With CloudKey, we were able to activate and deactivate each of these key codes with the tap of a button as well as view a log of who has locked and unlocked your doors. Adding and deleting keys was also easy and all done within the mobile app.

The CloudKey system also allows you to program rules, allowing you to to set different alerts or certain actions for your connected deadbolts. For example, if any of your doors open between midnight and 6 am, you can tell CloudKey to immediately send you a text message. Likewise, you can program CloudKey to always lock all your doors at 10 pm and you'll never lay in bed wondering if you remembered to latch the back door.

There's an application for iOS, Android and the web. Although the application works as described, the user interface is still very basic. We used the app on a 7-inch tablet and some of the buttons were too small despite there being plenty of unused screen space. The app, however, worked as promised, and locked and unlocked the door within seconds. Viewing the log and setting up rules was also fairly easy.

The SimpliciKey deadbolt, without the cloud-base control, costs $249 is available now. But if you want to access SimpliciKey on an app from anywhere in the world, you'll need to wait for its release sometime in June of this year. The entire CloudKey system will cost somewhere between $349 and $449, which is a one-time fee since there will be no monthly fees for using the CloudKey system.