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9/4/2008
06:11 PM
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Schlage's LiNK Device Puts Locks Online

The lock allows for keyless entry through 4-digit access codes that can be activated, deleted or disabled on the lock's 11-digit push button keypad, Web site, or mobile


Schlage LiNK Keyless Lock

Schlage LiNK Keyless Lock
(click for larger image)

For those undaunted by the thought of bank accounts that can be accessed over the Internet, it's now possible to lock and unlock one's home using a Web-enabled computer or mobile phone.

At the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) 2008 Expo in Denver, Colo., on Wednesday, security hardware manufacturer Schlage demonstrated its new wireless-enabled Schlage LiNK deadbolts and locks, which can be opened in-person, via an access code entered on a keypad, or remotely, via the Schlage LiNK Web site or using a mobile application.

Schlage says its new locks free homeowners from having to carry keys and provide a way to admit authorized parties into one's home from afar.

The Schlage LiNK Web site provides a way to establish user codes for specific days and times and to receive notification via e-mail or text message when those codes are used.

"Schlage LiNK deadbolts and locks give homeowners the control and peace of mind of always knowing that even if their home is not in sight, it's never out of reach," says Dwight Gibson, general manager for intelligent residential security at Ingersoll Rand, the parent company of Schlage, in a statement.

At the same time, Schlage LiNK locks add a minor burden: battery failure and replacement.

Schlage LiNK locks work in conjunction with the Z-Wave home automation system, which also allows remote control of other products like lights and thermostats. The locks require a Z-Wave Bridge, which connects to the Ethernet port on an Internet router, for radio signal reception.

Schlage says that its Web portal is protected with SSL encryption and that the Z-Wave Bridge's radio signals are protected by AEC 128 bit encryption. But past comments on the ZWaveWord community forum suggest that not everyone is comfortable with giving hackers a shot at opening one's doors. (Hacking doors over the Internet, however, seems like rather a lot of bother for a problem that could more easily be solved offline, with a sledgehammer.)

The Schlage LiNK Starter Kit lists for $299 and will be available from Fry's Electronics and certain professional builders in October. It includes one Schlage LiNK deadbolt or lock, a wireless Z-Wave Bridge, and a light module. Additional deadbolts or locks list for $199.

The locks require a $12.99 monthly subscription fee, which pays for access to the Schlage LiNK Web site and 100 MB of storage space for video from optional IP video cameras.

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