Tech

Smart Lock Review: Igloohome Product Range

Next in our smart lock series, we’re taking an in-depth look at two bluetooth enabled, battery operated locks by Igloohome. The Deadbolt 2S and the Keybox 2.

Before I say anything about these locks, absolutely anything about the functionality, app design or ergonomics – it would be amiss of me to not mention the unboxing experience. Unboxing might seem mundane to some and in most cases I’d agree, but with the Igloohome I found myself genuinely excited and satisfied by each step of the process. I actively noticed the anticipation building as I slid out the cover and the air-seal boxes – an experience reminiscent of Apple products, which says a lot about how much thought Igloohome have given to their product design. But without further ado;

THE SUMMARY

Both the Deadbolt 2S and the Keybox 2 fundamentally operate the same, so let’s discuss similarities before any differences. To ease the minds of those already wondering, the Igloohome products work offline, meaning they don’t use WiFi or an internet connection to operate.

As far as daily use is concerned, you as the owner have two main unlocking methods at your disposal – either through bluetooth with your phone, or with a code on the keypad. In the case of the Deadbolt 2S there is also a physical key.

The unlocking/locking mechanism is incredibly quick regardless of whether it’s through the keypad or the app. Following the status quo as the main selling point of smart locks, the Igloohome range allow its users to operate keyless, you can create and maintain multiple pin codes that allow access either once only, during a specific time period or permanently. Bluetooth keys can also be sent directly to mobile phones!

The incredible engineering of Igloohome means that the lock can operate entirely offline. They explain the function of this much like a generated one-time bank pin, there’s an encryption formula that’s specific to your Igloohome app and and lock so that you can generate codes from anywhere in the world. This feature took me a minute to get my head around but is an exceptional concept.

The app UI isn’t as clean as I would like for a product that has such a sleek feel to it. The home page (pictured below) is simple and functional, but the access and log pages aren’t very aesthetically pleasing and have a cluttered feel to them. While this never directly impacted my operation of the locks, it did take me a minute to decipher what it was I was doing each time manipulated a feature.

Both the Deadbolt 2S and the Keybox 2 have the ability to sync with AirBnB, meaning that your temporary tenants will receive generated access codes for the duration of their stay. This is a pretty groovy addition that would save a bit of time for regular short-stay hosts.

Other rather notable features include;

Privacy mode – Disallow all electronic entry (physical keys will still work).
Decoy code – For those concerned someone will trace your fingerprints.
Emergency jump start – A 9vDC battery can quick start the lock if the batteries fail.
Tamper alarm – An alarm will sound in the event of someone attempting to pry the lock.

DEADBOLT 2S

To the flagship product first, the Deadbolt 2S REALLY impressed me. Using this lock was undeniably one of the coolest things I’ve done all year, which says a lot about my personal life… As far as daily use, the 2S is really a one-stop shop and I’ve since found myself disgusted with traditional locks. The keypad and generated code system allows you to customize your pattern as well as implement decoy patterns in true secret agent fashion, making each one of my many guests (I’m rather popular) feel as though they were somewhat important.

One of the biggest purposes the 2S goes to serve however isn’t for personal use, it’s for landlords. The ability for a property owner to establish different keys, whether for the repairman, cleaner or tenant – differentiate these by time periods or single-use and keep an access log of everyone who’s entered? Invaluable. Take the case a landlord with an investment property 300km away. In advance, they could set up a series of codes to work for anyone that needs to enter the property for the next six months and bypass the need for AirBnB-level property management.

Installation of the 2S is simple, with the instructions laying out the setup so that even the pathetic handy-man that I am had a chance at understanding the process. The lock comes with four AA batteries as well as a few physical keys, making the setup process a breeze.

The Deadbolt 2S retails for roughly $270 AUD from the Igloohome website.

KEYBOX 2

While reviewing the Keybox 2, I found myself asking why? Why would I buy the Keybox when the Deadbolt 2S is just THAT much better and only $50 AUD more. But my question was answered when I forced my parents to trial both products – some people simply don’t trust a ‘computer’ to control their front door lock. And as I quickly discovered, there is barely any correlation between discomfort with smart locks and age. I’m only a young bloke but found that while half my friends were excited by the Deadbolt 2S, the other half were concerned about hacking, battery life and pin code decryption. Despite the fact that Igloohome address these things, just as anything, when it’s first introduced naturally some people will be skeptical of it.

The solution to this problem? A bridging product – the Keybox 2. The Keybox can either be installed somewhere prominent or otherwise hidden away, while still being a smart, bluetooth enabled lockbox. You’re still able to set unique pins for separate individuals/guests and included in the box is a handy “how-to-use” card for landlords.

Personally, I would prefer the Deadbolt 2S seven days a week, but I do see the function that the Keybox 2 serves. And by comparison to traditional keyboxes, it’s still significantly more fun to use.

The Keybox 2 goes for about $230 AUD and can be purchased online from the official Igloohome website.

Smart Lock Review: Igloohome Product Range
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