You can now tell Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa to lock doors thanks to a new skill that integrates with Maveron-backed August Home Inc.’s Smart Lock device.
The new skill is the first outcome of an ongoing partnership between Amazon and August, a San Francisco-based company that makes smart locks and other smart home access products.
“As the first smart lock to support Alexa-enabled devices such as Amazon Echo, we are giving consumers a whole new level of convenience with a hands-free way to control the front door,” Jason Johnson, CEO of August Home, said in a statement.
The Smart Lock is part of the Amazon Launchpad program for startups. To set it up, users must enable the smart lock through the Alexa app. It also requires the August Connect to get the bluetooth lock on WiFi.
Last year, Amazon opened up Alexa to developers, and Amazon said tens of thousands of them are now working on skills and projects for Alexa. Developers who want to add to Alexa’s abilities can write code that works with Alexa in the cloud, letting the smart assistant do the heavy lifting of understanding and deciphering spoken commands.
In April, Amazon released the Smart Home Skill API to make it easier for developers to build smart home skills. The Alexa Smart Home Store has numerous devices that can be integrated with Alexa, including lights, fans, thermostats and others.
August’s Smart Lock costs $199, and in addition to automatically locking doors, it lets users create virtual keys for guests and monitor who is coming and going. August also produces a digital door camera and a smart keypad.
In addition to Amazon, August says it has partnerships with Airbnb, Apple, Logitech, Nest and Xfinity Home.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify the capabilities of the locking feature.