One of the newest gadgets hitting Apple Store shelves this week arguably isn’t even a gadget at all, it’s a lock.
Unlike boring old dumbass locks that require incredibly annoying and extremely difficult to operate physical keys, the new Level Lock + smart lock can unlock a door with a simple tap from an iPhone or Apple Watch. It’s also nearly $350.
The Apple exclusive product designed by Level Home is intended to integrate seamlessly with Apple’s Home key feature. Apple Home users can add the digital key to their Apple Wallet which they can then use to gain entry via one of their linked devices. Though past smart locks could work with Apple products, the Level Lock + offers more integrated Home support, letting it utilize unique features like power reserve which lets users unlock their home up to five hours after their device has lost a charge. There’s also a normal keyhole for anyone who really can’t find a charger. According to CNBC, the Level Lock + is the first Home supported key sold in Apple’s store.
Users can set their door to automatically unlock when they approach by using an “Auto-Lock” feature and can also use Siri to unlock the device using their voice. Since Apple stores their key digitally, users can opt to share access to the key with other Home users. That’s useful for friends and family but potentially even more useful for short-term stays at Airbnbs or other rentals. Smart locks, along with smart doorbell systems have gained popularity in recent years, with some estimates forecasting the sector could be worth $8.13 billion by 2030.
“Consumer behavior has evolved to rely on technological enhancements to make secure access more convenient,” Level Home Co-Founder and CEO John Martin said in a statement. “Our habits are more digitally intertwined than ever.”
Apple’s on a mission to exterminate traditional keys and wallets, whether you’re ready for it or not. A handful of carmakers including BMW and Hyundai already let users unlock their vehicles using a digital Apple Car Key. On the hospitality front, more and more hotels let Apple users add a version of their room keycard to their Apple Wallet.
Outside of locks and keys, Apple Pay stands out as one of the most successful digital payments systems developed so far. eMarketer estimates Apple Pay had roughly 43.9 million users last year, making it the top mobile payment player by a wide margin. This year, Apple began letting residents in Arizona store a digital version of their driver’s license in an Apple Wallet.