While we’ve covered a selection of Apple Homekit locks in the past, we thought we’d give the new offering from Friday Labs a quick lookover. The product started out as a successful Indiegogo campaign back in 2015, with backers receiving their products in the last few weeks. If you’re looking for one yourself, it’s on pre-order at the moment, with shipping dates in the next two weeks, available only through Friday Labs’ online shop and select retail outlets.
At the time of the Indiegogo the market didn’t have many offerings, but even so, Friday Labs have mainly retained their initial goals, the only update being the integration of HomeKit support. Otherwise they’ve maintained their focus on design, which lets them compete in a sector that already has popular offerings from Schlage and August.
Much like the August lock, the Friday is a retrofit to a standard US deadbolt, and can be installed with minimal effort, still allowing you to use your key from the outside. Friday claim that their product is “the world’s smallest smartlock”, which is understandable given other products on the market.
One way the Friday lock deviates from normal is its use of a rechargeable battery instead of standard AA or 9V batteries. This battery is specific to your lock, and recharges with a USB charger, that you hopefully won’t misplace. It’s not quite clear what you should do while you’re recharging your battery, assumedly you could do it overnight when there’s no need for it to be working. Estimated battery life is 3 months and naturally the lock can still function as a normal deadbolt during downtime.
The Friday lock currently operates with Bluetooth, connecting directly to your phone, or other apple device. The product also works with Android, but it’s unclear how that will allow control when not at home. Some outlets have commented on a wi-fi connection, but Friday’s website is not clear on the topic. HomeKit obviously allows remote connection as long as you have an AppleTV nearby.
Automation Haus Verdict
Without any hands on time with the product, it appears to be a well thought competitor in the market. It doesn’t seem to offer anything new in terms of functionality, but is pegging their hopes on the fact that their design will appeal enough to consumers to warrant the purchase. It is marginally more expensive than its competition, but not to an extent that this will impact them. From a design perspective they’ve done well, clearly making a place for themselves in the market, potentially convincing current August customers to switch over.