Kwikset beat the competition to bring the first Bluetooth smart lock to market in 2013 by partnering with UniKey and establishing an early lead in the field.
Kwikset has been the leading residential lock manufacturer in the US since 1946. In the early 2010s, their portfolio of products stood out for their patented SmartKey deadbolts and early Z-wave connected locks, but new challengers were emerging. The Internet of Things was still in its infancy, and established lock manufacturers and startups alike were rushing to be the first to bring a Bluetooth smart lock to market.
Kwikset needed to act fast to be the pioneer in the smart lock industry. If they moved too late, they could lose the market. If they moved too early, they would risk shipping a rushed product. Kwikset had to find a partner who could combine leading-edge technology with the reliability their customers had come to expect from their brand.
“Kevo is not just another lock, it represents a shift in lifestyle for busy homeowners. Whether keeping track of your teenage daughter, granting temporary access to a housecleaner or monitoring your front door activity while on vacation, Kevo redefines the meaning of smart, simple security.” -- Greg Gluchowski, former president, Kwikset.
UniKey technologies was chosen by Kwikset to power their first smart lock. The two companies signed an agreement in 2013 and blew audiences away at CES 2013 with a demonstration of the Kevo smart lock. Combining Kwikset’s most popular deadbolt design with patented technologies from UniKey, the Kevo brought US homeowners the first truly “smart” home lock experience.
The package of technologies now called UniKey PassiveX were introduced with the Kevo, giving users Touch-to-Open™ functionality with intelligent Inside/Outside detection. Not only did Kwikset bring the first smart lock to market, through their partnership they leapfrogged the competition with a lock that simplified the user experience. Kevo owners didn’t even have to remove their phone from their pocket or purse to unlock their doors.
Since the initial Kevo launch in 2014, Kwikset and UniKey have released a series of complimentary products and platform innovations to expand the lock’s functionality. Kevo Plus allows users to control their lock from anywhere in the world through wi-fi connectivity. Kevo Home Connect Bridge brings Z-wave or Zigbee compatibility to the lock allowing for interaction with existing smart home devices. And direct partnerships with Nest, Honeywell, the Ring doorbell, and IFTTT allow the Kevo to be the start of true home automation for its owners.
The partnership between Kwikset and UniKey has garnered multiple awards for its products including accolades from CES, Mashable, CEPro, Electronic House, This Old House, The Wirecutter, and more. This relationship continued in 2016 with the announcement of the second generation Kevo, a refined take on the world’s first smart lock, and the Kevo Convert, which will bring smart technology to existing deadbolt installations. Both new products will be launching by the end of the year.
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