At CES Las Vegas, Yale showcased a whole bunch of innovation. The key highlight of course, relates to a lock. One named after the brand’s founder Linus Yale Junior, and designed by no less than Swiss design extraordinaire Yves Behar.
The Linus Smart Lock stands out as a smart lock, and the true distinction has little to do with the circuits or motors inside it. Yale instead had to solve a different problem: making a single lock that could work across the many various standards you’ll find on doors throughout Europe and the Middle East. Different countries have very different door locks, torques, number of turns the deadbolt has to make, and so on. So Yale made a modular system that can work with multiple mounting backplates for each region.
The Yale Linus has been designed to upgrade an existing Euro cylinder lock, this model is designed to turn the dumb into the smart with the minimum effort. The Yale Linus leaves your existing lock intact, with the internal module designed to turn a key inserted into your lock permanently. Inside you get a handle to lock and unlock the door, which is a safety requirement and makes it easier to get out of your home if there’s a fire or other emergency.
As well as being quick to install, this type of lock has the advantage that getting into your home doesn’t require any power or smarts, as a traditional key can be used. That’s good for peace of mind, as you can leave a key with a neighbour in case of an emergency. So far, so normal, but the Yale Linus is designed to be smart. Using a Bluetooth connection, you can unlock it from your smartphone, provided it’s in range, and send virtual keys to other people. Keys can be permanent, or temporary, locked to a specific time period or range of dates, making it useful if you have guests.
There’s also an optional wireless PIN pad that you can buy, letting people open the lock via a code, and the lock is HomeKit compliant, too, meaning if you have a home hub in Bluetooth range, such as a HomePod, that you can remote control the lock. Want to go into full remote control mode? Buy the Yale Connect Wi-Fi Bridge, which opens up all of the interconnections that the lock supports. Using the Yale Access app, you get integrations including Airbnb, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT. The Yale Linus should go on sale in Q2 and has been priced at $249.
Another key announcement which should appeal to us Amazon addicts, is Yales’s new Smart Delivery Box. Couriers can pop parcels inside the unlocked box, and it will automatically lock when it’s closed. You can unlock it using your phone when you get home. Add Yale’s $50 Wi-Fi Bridge and the box is always-connected, meaning you can open the box remotely if another delivery arrives.
Out in the spring, the box itself will be $229.