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Our homes are increasingly filled with gadgets that connect to the internet in ways that rightly have us concerned for our privacy and security. But when discussing those concerns, it's important to keep a level head and consider just what kind of privacy and security concerns actually stem from using these products, and in what instances they might actually enhance both for you in real, tangible ways. And like surveillance cameras, we think smart locks fall into such a category: they can actually make your home safer and more secure than a traditional, "dumb" lock, and they do it all while bringing a tremendous amount of convenience.
Millions of homes now contain a smart assistant speaker of some variety and sales of IoT products continue to grow as the market matures and prices come down across the sector. With so many options available, it's hard to know what to buy, and that's where we come in — this is a selection of our favorite smart home gadgets. Whether you want to just dip your toes in the water with a cheap Google Nest Mini or dive into the deep end with smart lights, cameras, thermostats, doorbells, and so on — we’ve got you covered.
When Amazon launched its smart lock, it had the brilliant idea of coupling it with an option to let delivery people in to drop your packages when you're not home. Although it's a convenient approach, it's not necessarily reassuring to let strangers in. Yale came up with a solution to this problem, with the announcement of its smart delivery boxes. In addition, it also unveiled a connected cabinet lock and a safe, letting you secure items using your phone.
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Smart lock maker Yale announced a new product at CES this year, designed to be fitted on doors that don't have deadbolts, which are generally required for grafting on smarts. The Assure Lever lock gets around that requirement by replacing your doorknob and lock assembly with a lever handle (hence the name) and keypad.
When it comes to home security, peace of mind and convenience are what matter to me, making a smart lock pretty damn appealing. We know that homes generally aren't targeted by burglars for a lack of obstacles, but for an abundance of opportunity (like an unlocked door!), and a smart door lock leaves one less thing to chance when you're away on vacation or at the office. All the locks in the world probably aren't going to stop someone truly determined to break into your home - so unless you're barring your windows and using solid exterior doors (and most US homes aren't), I don't think the physical security argument has many legs to stand on.
You know smart home technology is becoming ubiquitous when even a 150-year-old company decides to get in on the fun. That's the case with Yale, founded in 1868 by the inventor of the modern pin tumbler lock, Linus Yale, Jr. The historic company collaborated with Google's home automation company, Nest, to reveal the Nest x Yale Lock in January 2018. Now, Yale has achieved the inevitable next step in its journey into cutting edge security tech, with the announcement that as of today, Google Assistant on mobile or Google Home supports voice commands for its product.