We are in a time period where technology is rapidly evolving, but also stagnating. The most popular technology, the smartphone, hasn’t seen any real advance in technology in awhile. Outside of that world though, there are advances happening that are very real, and coming very soon. One of those areas is the smart home, and Okidokeys is one of the first companies that’s primary focus is to make your home smarter. I have had the opportunity to live with an Okidokeys unit for the past few months, so let’s take a look at whether or not your home needs an Okidokeys.
When I first got the Okidokeys, I was stoked to try it out. My apartment complex was kind enough to let me change the the lock on my door, as Okidokeys makes it clear that changing your lock is easy, and can be changed back if need be. The installation process was a little difficult, but I think it had more to do with the position of my door than anything. Okidokeys provides video how-tos to walk you step-by-step on the installation process, which helped me a lot (I tend to be better with technology than tools).
Once the actual lock was installed, all that’s needed is to register the lock so that you can download the app on your smartphone. The portal on Okidokeys website is simple enough, although navigating it took some learning. After some tinkering though, I got me and my wife’s phones all set up, and everything worked pretty well.
Using the Okidokeys at first was really exciting. The ability to walk up to your door and use your smartphone to unlock your door is an uncanny feeling, and when I use it I still think its surreal. However, using the app seems to be inconsistent on my phone, but always works on my wife’s phone (I have a Moto X (2013) and she has a LG G2). You have to turn on Bluetooth for it to work, but you don’t pair your phone with the lock like a traditional Bluetooth device. Instead, you have to rely on the app to recognize the lock is within distance before locking/unlocking the door. For me, I could never find a system that would consistently recognize the door was within distance. So, unlocking my door ended up taking 3 times as long than just using my regular keys. That may not seem all that long, but after a long day, getting home is the first thing on your mind, and dealing with an app that won’t work right away isn’t exactly fun.
Like I said, though, my wife tells me she has never had an issue and it always works, and the few other people who have tried it have had no issues. So I can’t really say “it doesn’t work” when it seems to just be the case for me. Speaking of other people using it…
The special features are what make the Okidokeys a great buy. I’ll give you an example: my parents came and visited for a few days over a weekend, and then for Monday and Tuesday. While they were here, my wife and I had to work on the Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, my wife and I woke up early and went to work. When my parents got up, we realized we had forgotten to leave a key with them so they could leave the apartment. Never fear, Okidokeys is here! I pulled up my Okidokeys portal, and sent my dad a “key” to use on his smartphone. The email walked him through setup, and in just a few minutes they had the door locked and were on their way.
This is easily the most convenient feature of the Okidokeys. My in-laws also visited before my parents, and we set them up with a key as well (we had remembered ahead of time). The amount of “keys” available for the Okidokeys is only controlled by you. Furthermore, if you want to give someone a key for only a short time, say when someone is house sitting, you can set an expiration on the “key”. The uses of this are endless, and require no hassle of making an extra physical key to keep track of.
What is neat, though, is you can get physical keys, but I don’t mean a metal one. You can purchase a credit card sized key, a bracelet key, or even just a sticker to give to people to use with the lock (you need to buy an extension for this to work). If someone in your household would rather have an old-fashioned key, the ones you had before still work with the Okidokeys (there is no change to the outside of the door, just the inside).
All-in-all, the Okidokeys is an improvement to your lock. Even if the app is a little finicky, you can still open the door with a range of things, from an old-fashioned key to another you can get from Okidokeys. The ability to give keys to people without anything more than accessing your portal is priceless. While this isn’t a palm-reading lock, Okidokeys has opened the door (pun intended) for the future of homes.