Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has once again introduced a new skill for its digital assistant, Alexa, as it continues to bet big on smart devices. For long, Alexa has been able to control smart home products ranging from Wi-Fi Connected light bulbs to WeMo Switches but not doors.
Alexa-August Lock Integration
That is now set to change, the tech giant having teamed up with hardware startup August to have the digital assistant integrated into the firm’s smart door locks. With the integration, Amazon says the Alexa app will be able to tell the digital assistant to lock any smart August deadbolt upon a user issuing an order for the same.
Users who wish to make use of the added Alexa capability will need to have an August Connect Wi-Fi bridge in addition to August Bluetooth Lock. It might appear to be an expensive integration given that compatible August locks cost an average of $199, which users will have to supplement with a $79 August smart bridge.
One of the major drawbacks of the new skill is that it only locks the door and users cannot be able to use Alexa to unlock the same door. Amazon says they limited the app functionality to locking the door, to prevent people from the outside instructing a door or Window to unlock.
Added Security and Privacy
However, Amazon and August say they are working on a second security step that will make Alexa and August lock integration even more secure. There is no timeline on when the full integration will occur even as it emerges August may be planning to introduce a four-digit passcode for facilitating connections between Alexa and its locks.
In a bid to address privacy concerns, August has reiterated that even with the integration, they will not be sharing August account ID with Amazon. August will also not track user’s actual physical address. Amazon on its part says it will store all the voice recordings that people carry out on the cloud, where they can be viewed and deleted at the same time.
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