As consumers moved from the conventional locks for their home to the digital ones and now to smart locks, the concerns about safety never ceases.
Amazon’s Alexa permitted users to lock their doors but there was no provision to open them, since the same safety concerns came in the way.
While the voice-activated command to lock is not an issue, the same could not be said about unlocking, since it is always easy to manipulate someone’s voice.
Alexa has now worked around this issue and you can now unlock your smart locks using the same voice-activated Alexa app.
Here is how:
Record a Code with Your Voice Like a PIN
It’s been said that Amazon could have found this solution earlier, but better late than never. The solution they found is to add a code to your voice which is saved on the Alexa app so that whenever you have to open your smart lock, you will have to spell out the code first and then ask that the lock be opened so you can enter your hope.
The step-by-step process is as follows:
1. Enter the Alexa app on your mobile phone and click on the parallel lines on the top left corner. This takes you to the drop-down menu.
4. Pick the lock that you wish to add for smart unlocking now.
5. You will find that the default status is always “locked.”
6. Click on “Edit” at the top right of this dialogue window; this lets you make alterations to the way the chosen lock is controlled.
7. Among the options are “Unlock by voice.” This is the button you have to activate to accomplish what you set out to do.
8. You will find a pop-up that wants you to confirm that you are “Ok” with the change you are about to make enabling anyone with your voice confirmation code to open the Alexa-enabled smart lock.
9. You will have to click on the “Ok” button to move on.
10. The numerals screen is displayed now; choose a four-digit code that you will easily remember, which will be saved as your voice-activation code. You will have to punch in the numbers twice to confirm, as you do with most passwords.
11. Once you have done this, you will have to sign into your Amazon account to ensure that the code you have chosen gets activated.
12. You have chosen the way to unlock your front door or whichever door lock you chose to do the above adjustment in your settings panel.
Unlocking the Smart Lock
Now that you are seeing the button against “Unlock by voice” turn blue, you are equipped to use Alexa to unlock the smart lock with your voice command.
Here are the steps:
- You will have to say the usual command by voice “Alexa unlock the —- door.”
- It could simply be the front door or the garage door—any specific name you have given to the door as saved in the app.
- Alexa will immediately respond by asking you to spell out the code that you have saved by the process above.
- If you utter the right code, the door’s lock will open and you will get access to your home or garage; it will be as simple as that.
Remember, you can continue to lock the same door by the same voice command to lock; there is no code needed for that even after you have set the code for unlocking.
Customized Smart Locks
If you did a search, you will find smart locks that are compatible with the Alexa app and can be programmed to work for locking and unlocking through voice commands as described so far.
These locks go beyond the simple locking and unlocking processes using Alexa.
For example, say you are away and your kids arrive from school; by connecting the lock to an automation system in your home, you can set the time when the kids return home, and the door will open for a few minutes just around that time.
They can be connected to the alarm system as well.
There are more possibilities with these smart locks. They provide the feature to add specific voice codes for service providers so that they can get an access into the house when you are away.
You can disable this once you return home. For instance, if you’re on vacation and wish to have your plants watered regularly while you’re away, you can give your gardener temporary access to the property so they can tend to your plants.
The interesting thing is these locks come with software that can record the details of the unlocking and locking of doors.
This means, if you gave access to another person through a voice code and they used it, there will be a log that you can check to know how long that person was inside.
But while fixing these smart locks, do check if they are fit to be coupled with the home speaker you have installed in your home.
If your speaker is from Google and not Amazon Echo, then the Alexa-compatible smart lock won’t work on it.
Please note that the Alexa app comes with a default setting of disabled unlocking through voice command.
This is important since it might be risky to leave a default code which may be used by anyone with the wrong intentions to obtain access.
The market for smart locks is partly evolved, but a lot of work is still being carried out.
As the technology gets perfected, people may gain confidence that it is safe to use them and there is no threat to their home or any other premises where the smart locks are fitted.