Fall is in full swing and there's a chill in the air (well, where I am, anyway). Warm your bones with some fine deals: today, you can get an Echo Dot for half off and two USB-C cables for just five bucks, plus savings on a cool Bluetooth speaker and some smart security gear.
We've arrived at July's final week, and we've got some great deals to cap the month off right. This week, you'll find a substantial discount on Jabra's excellent new noise-canceling headphones, plus money off the very competent Jaybird X4, Roku Streaming Stick+, and then some.
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.
One of the biggest trends in consumer technology over the last few years has been the rise of the smart home. The number of different device categories that now make up the 'Internet of Things' (IoT) has grown immensely, with connected appliances now found in many households across the US and beyond.
The smart home was once an expensive hobby for tech-fiends only but has now become an affordable aspiration for normal people. You can get started for less than $30 these days, with some lights or a smart switch that can connect to your Wi-Fi network and be controlled with your phone.
At CES in January, Yale announced they would soon release an NFC residential lock, the first of its kind in the US. A product page with the option to pre-order went up soon thereafter with the promise of delivery sometime in April. The ship date was updated today, and it seems Yale is going to miss their target − but not by much. The Yale YRD340 Mobile Phone Entry lock will be available May 4th for $224.99. It comes in three different colors: oil rubbed bronze, polished brass, and satin nickel.
NFC, when implemented properly, is a wonderful tool that is quick and efficient.
In addition to replacing your wallet, it looks like your Android device may eventually replace your key ring as well. Yale Locks and Hardware showed off their Real Living line of motorized locks this year at CEDIA Expo, promising that your NFC-enabled phone will soon be able to open your front door digitally.
The new line of locks is also compatible with Zigbee and Z-Wave home automation systems and offers support for Assa Abloy's existing Mobile Keys system which allows users to securely store all their digital keys on their phone.
Little else is known about these locks for now, but they serve as one more sign that NFC is set to make a significant splash in the world of electronics, allowing your Android handset to effectively replace even more of your belongings.