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The Aqara U200 retrofit sensible lock works with Matter and can help Apple Dwelling Key

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Aqara has launched its Smart Lock U200 on Kickstarter, the place you possibly can at the moment nab the gadget for $209, down from the $249.99 it’ll price you when it goes on sale later this 12 months. Based on the Kickstarter web page, it is going to ship to backers in April.

The corporate debuted its new retrofit lock at the IFA 2023 tech show last summer; showcasing its Matter-over-Thread connectivity and separate Bluetooth keypad with a fingerprint reader and NFC inbuilt. This offers you the choice to unlock with digital codes, Aqara NFC playing cards, the Aqara app in your cellphone, and voice management with suitable voice assistants. That’s along with nonetheless having the ability to use your current key.

Uniquely for a retrofit lock (the place you needn’t substitute your current door lock), the U200 can work with US-style deadbolts and European mortise locks. Most solely work with one or the opposite. The lock additionally comes with a chargeable battery that Aqara says can get a minimal of six months of battery life based mostly on eight entries a day. That’s spectacular. The wi-fi keypad makes use of 4 AAA batteries or may be wired to doorbell wiring.

The U200 comes with a Bluetooth keypad with a fingerprint reader and help for NFC. As soon as the lock works with Apple Dwelling Key, you’ll faucet your cellphone or watch to the keypad to unlock the door.
Picture by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy / The Verge

Matter compatibility ought to imply it will possibly work with any platform suitable with the brand new sensible dwelling commonplace, together with Amazon Alexa, Apple Dwelling, and Google Dwelling. Nonetheless, Aqara says compatibility might be rolling out in levels, and it didn’t present a timeline. The lock will work with the Aqara app and the upcoming Aqara Hub M3 at launch.

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The U200 might be one of many first Matter-over-Thread-compatible locks to help Dwelling Key and the primary ever in Europe

Different upgrades Aqara has promised embody help for auto-unlocking, so your door unlocks as you strategy, and Apple Dwelling Key. It says it is ready for certifications from Apple and plans to push the potential by way of an OTA replace.

When Dwelling Key help arrives, the U200 might be one of many first Matter-over-Thread-compatible locks to help it and the primary ever in Europe to make use of Apple’s straightforward unlocking methodology that turns your iPhone and Apple Watch right into a key.

Aqara says the U200 is suitable with most US deadbolts and Euro mortise locks. The EU-style locks require the important thing to stay within the lock on the within of the door, however Aqara says you’ll nonetheless have the ability to open it with a key from the surface for locks that help the Emergency Perform.
Credit score: Aqara

There at the moment are plenty of smart locks that support Matter, however only a few that help Matter over Thread. This mesh wi-fi protocol helps longer battery life than Wi-Fi and provides web connectivity for out-of-home management without having a proprietary bridge or built-in Wi-Fi. (As a substitute, you want a Thread border router, such because the Aqara Hub M3).

At CES this 12 months, U-tec introduced a new Matter-over-Thread lock however with out Dwelling Key help. Yale has a Thread module for its older Guarantee SL lock that works with Matter however not Dwelling Key. Nuki has a Matter-over-Thread lock however just for European locks and, once more, no Dwelling Key.

Aqara’s own U100 smart lock helps Matter and Dwelling Key however works over Zigbee by way of an Aqara hub slightly than Thread. Then there’s Level with its Home Key lock and its teasing of Thread support, however up to now, no Thread.

It’s clear, nonetheless, that Apple Dwelling Key’s increasing. A number of new Dwelling Key locks have been introduced at CES 2024, together with ones from U-tec, TP-Link, and Lockly. And now that Dwelling Key works with Matter (Apple added HomeKey support to Matter with iOS 17), I count on to see much more. Particularly since producers don’t must be HomeKit licensed to make use of HomeKey; they only must have Matter certification, MFi certification, and the right {hardware}. Straightforward, proper?

Up to date February twenty eighth, 6:55AM ET: After publication, Aqara reached out to make clear the U200 works with the Emergency Perform on EU-style locks, so the cylinder may be unlocked from the surface utilizing a key even when one other secret’s already inserted on the within.

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