Genie is claimed to use less power than other smart locks
By Dave LeClair
July 28, 2014
Smart locks are becoming increasingly popular, with examples currently including the Lockitron and the Schlage Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt. Many of the devices, however, go through batteries pretty quickly. It's with this in mind that the creators of the Genie Smart Lock set out to design a device with the features of other models, but much less power drain.
Like most of the smart locks out there, Genie allows users to unlock their door with the help of a smartphone. It uses both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to accomplish this, which gives buyers the option of unlocking their door from anywhere their phone has an internet connection, or by just walking up to the door with their phone or Bluetooth fob close at hand. They can also grant temporary door-unlocking privileges to other people, such as house guests or maid services.
The main selling point of this particular lock, however, is the battery life. Most smart locks average about a month of use per charge, but the Genie promises up to 12 months of life. This is done using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The lock itself only sends out BLE signals, and the Genie Hub, a Wi-Fi-connected device that is part of the system, receives those signals and sends them to the user's smartphone through Wi-Fi. This means the lock itself is never actually connected to and searching for a wireless internet signal, thus keeping power consumption very low.
For users who are not interested in the Wi-Fi features, the lock can be used with just the BLE connectivity without the Genie Hub. Of course, users who go this way will be missing out on all of the remote unlocking features, but having options is always a good thing.
As with all smart locks, should the battery die at some point, a traditional key is also included for emergency unlocking. Also, another important thing to note is that the lock is designed to work with standard 54-mm door holes, and can be replaced with a traditional lock without leaving a trace – a feature renters will find useful.
The creators of the Genie Smart Lock are taking pre-orders right now. They are offering a few packages, but the main one is US$249 and includes the lock, the hub, two traditional keys, one Bluetooth fob, and two Bluetooth eKeys. They also have a slightly more expensive package that includes unlimited Bluetooth eKeys that can be sent to others for $329.