The August Smart Lock is a new product by designer Yves Béhar and technology entrepreneur Jason Johnson, which updates the humble door lock for the "Internet of Things" era. The device can be retrofitted to existing deadbolts and employs Bluetooth Low Energy technology in order to pair with an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5, and allow access for you and up to 10 of your iPhone-wielding friends.

Smart locks are nothing new in of themselves, and here at Gizmag we've covered both the Lockitron and DoorBot systems in the past. However, the design pedigree that Béhar brings to the table, coupled with an interesting social networking element, could perhaps make the August Smart Lock the gadget that moves smart locks into the mainstream.

The August Smart Lock fits onto existing door deadbolts, and its designers reckon that installation should be a quick two-screw job for around 90 percent of US-based deadbolts. Once it's up and running, users simply approach their door with their iPhone on their person – and open sesame, no hands required.

The device makes use of replaceable AA batteries as a power source, so will remain operational even in the event of a power-cut. If the batteries run out, the original deadbolt key will continue to work.

The August Smart Lock also allows users to issue up to 10 "virtual keys" for their iPhone-owning guests. This access can be set to be valid during a certain time frame only, and is also logged, thus lending a greater degree of security than simply cutting a spare key and hoping for the best.

The lock also features a social networking aspect, with the August app including a Guestbook function that lets hosts leave a comment or photo that will be sent to visitors upon their arrival. The guests can then return the favor by leaving a comment via the app when they leave.

The August Smart Lock also uses the same communication encryption technology commonly used in banks, so should be suitably secure from hackers.

The August Smart Lock will be available later this year, though pre-orders are open now, at an introductory price of US$199.

Product page: August