Amazon Echo-controlled lock runs on solar, battery power

The Array door lock’s PV panel draws extra energy for Wi-Fi and other smart features.

February 03, 2017

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The Array door lock’s PV panel draws extra energy for Wi-Fi and other smart features.

Image Source: Hampton Products International via TechHive

With many intelligent features now adopted by smart door locks, power sources for these to work are gaining importance. One manufacturer, Hampton Products International, having this in mind has created Array, a smart lock that has rechargeable Li-polymer batteries and a 2x3in PV panel for a longer working time.

The product, which was unveiled at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, can be locked and monitored by the ubiquitous Echo speaker from Amazon. It connects via Wi-Fi that is said to consume more power than Bluetooth and Z-Wave, so adding a solar power source makes sense. With this network, Android and iOS mobile devices, and wearables can also access the product, and the lock won’t need a central controller home hub.

But Array having the solar panel means that the smart door lock is better suited on doors that can be reached by sunlight. If not installed on a sunlit area, the maker’s design that kept the keyhole would be more useful. The owner just needs to use a key to unlock the door when the lock goes low on battery power. This could still come into play when buyers choose between products, for many new smart door locks currently on the market are already going keyless.

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