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Sina science and technology news Beijing time on October 24 morning news, according to reports, the United States Apple flagship store has begun to sell the door lock that can be unlocked by Apple Watch or iPhone. The $329 Level Lock+ is the first Home Key-enabled lock to be sold at Apple's flagship store.
Level Lock+ is produced by Level Home. Once the device is installed on the door, users can open and close the door with just a touch of Apple's Home Key feature. The Home Key is a feature that uses NFC and security tokens in Apple's software to unlock and unlock locks. Users can send the key to a friend via text message or automatically open the door directly from their Apple device.
For Apple, this is an important advance on a highly anticipated feature announced in 2021. The Home Key is a sign that Apple is still pushing ahead with digitalization, integrating everything from cash to keys that you would normally find in your wallet or pocket into a digital device.
Many of the new software Apple has introduced in recent years is intended to increase the value of the iPhone to users and keep them from switching to other brands. For users, if the door to their home is also tightly tied to their phone, they are much less likely to switch to an Android phone.
Some of Apple's new projects, particularly in the smart-home space, often require third-party hardware or ecosystems to work. But that kind of hardware and software isn't entirely under Apple's control, as opposed to the various features that come with iOS updates, so it often takes longer to catch on.
In addition to the Home Key, Apple also unveiled the Car Key, which can unlock some BMW and Hyundai cars, and the Room Key, which can open some hotel rooms at Hyatt and other hotel chains. Apple's iPhone is more deeply integrated with cars through CarPlay, and it has partnered with Goldman Sachs to offer a wider range of financial services to users.
For Level, it's a chance to make a comeback as a tech company in a market dominated by a handful of established door locks. That's because the core users who are the most passionate about smart homes are hungry for this feature.
"The category is facing a problem right now." "The question is: Is a smart door lock a consumer electronic device or a traditional door lock with smart features?" said John Martin, the chief executive of Level.
Smart Home enthusiasts may just want a new Home Key door lock option. Since the Home Key was released in 2021, only one door lock that supports this feature -- the Silage Encode Plus -- has been available in the U.S. market. For the past year, smart Home enthusiasts have taken to forums like Reddit to speculate about who will be the next company to unveil the Home Key device.
Last week, Level Lock+ went on sale early in some regions, allowing some journalists and users to get their hands on the product. Since then, it has been abundantly clear how hungry Apple users are for the new Home Key locks.
Mr. Martin said the company found that blog posts and social media posts about the new locks immediately appeared.
"Our chief marketing officer, Andrew Samson, came over from Nike. He's good." "He called me late at night and said, 'Oh my God, we're a hit! '"
But some users on the forum expressed disappointment when they learned that Level would not be updating the firmware of older locks to support the Home Key. To buy a Level door lock that supports the Home Key function, you need to go to Apple's flagship store or online store.
"We are not planning a firmware update for Touch." "We need to innovate on the basics inside the product to support Home Key in a great way," Mr. Martin said.