Otto unveils gorgeous, keyless smart door lock

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Smart door locks are readily available at your local hardware store (and of course, online) but they’re not exactly flying off the shelves. Is it consumer awareness that’s keeping buyers at bay? Security concerns? Or perhaps pricing?

According to one start-up, aesthetics may be a major hurdle.

Otto, a Bay Area outfit comprised of former Apple, Microsoft and Nokia employees, recently unveiled its smart home lock by the same name.

The first thing that you’ll notice about the Otto is its lack of a keyhole and physical keypad. The device is largely designed to work by syncing with a smartphone although there is a digital keypad that can be used should you not have your phone handy.

Some will scoff at the idea of not having a key hole as a backup (a valid concern) although its absence does look great and reduces security concerns a bit (can’t pick a key hole if it isn’t there). Should the unit’s battery die, there is a built-in back-up unit that’ll power the lock for about a dozen cycles.

Clearly, Otto is trying to do for door locks what Nest did for thermostats. They’ve seemingly got the right team in place and the product certainly looks the part. The only issue, then, is the cost.

Otto’s first smart lock will set you back a cool $700. For one door lock. Ouch. For that price, you could outfit an entire house with standard locks with loads of cash left over or even put other smart locks on your main doors with money to spare for security devices like, say, a Ring Video Doorbell 2 . But, the aesthetics…

Otto is now accepting pre-orders for its smart lock with plans to ship the first batch this fall.

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Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
"Is it consumer awareness that’s keeping buyers at bay? Security concerns? Or perhaps pricing?"
It's none of the above. Keys and locks have worked for centuries and nobody has ever complained so it's painfully obvious... If it ain't broke, don't fix it... and don't waste your money on something that will wind up costing you money to maintain or even replace every year. A key, an old fashioned lock with a periodic squirt of oil on the tumblers and springs whenever necessary will last for decades and decades.
Every Tom, D1ck & Harry is trying to convince us to buy their irrelevant IoT rubbish when up till now, 9/10th's of it is totally unnecessary and the other 10th's reliability is spotty at best.
 

Tanstar

TS Evangelist
"Is it consumer awareness that’s keeping buyers at bay? Security concerns? Or perhaps pricing?"
It's none of the above. Keys and locks have worked for centuries and nobody has ever complained so it's painfully obvious... If it ain't broke, don't fix it... and don't waste your money on something that will wind up costing you money to maintain or even replace every year. A key, an old fashioned lock with a periodic squirt of oil on the tumblers and springs whenever necessary will last for decades and decades.
Every Tom, D1ck & Harry is trying to convince us to buy their irrelevant IoT rubbish when up till now, 9/10th's of it is totally unnecessary and the other 10th's reliability is spotty at best.
Does your car have keyless start? Mine does and I really want it for my doors now. Not having to fish out my keys when my hands are full of groceries would be awesome! Would I pay $700 when they make similar ones for around $150? Nope.
 
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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
$700 for a single door seems a bit too high, especially when my Smith & Wesson covers the entire house for less, required no installation and doesn't require a key or special codes to work just dandy. If you don't believe me just ask that fellow that tried to break in a few years back. On the other hand, better take my word for it; the fellow hasn't done much talking since then .......
 
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SalaSSin

TS Booster
Seven.Hundred.Dollars.
For one lock.

Which will be worth nothing anymore after a single flawed firmware update.

You've got to be ****ting me.
 
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Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
Does your car have keyless start? Mine does and I really want it for my doors now. Not having to fish out my keys when my hands are full of groceries would be awesome! Would I pay $700 when they make similar ones for around $150? Nope.
Yes, one of my cars does, the other two are of the old fashioned key start variety and to be perfectly honest with you, I didn't buy the vehicle because of irrelevant features like that. Even if it had old fashioned key ignition and it cost exactly the same as keyless ignition, I still would've bought it. The same thing applies to me with regards to electric windows, I couldn't care less if I have them or not but I do, you can't buy many modern, new vehicles (if any) without them these days. Those kind of superfluous things don't make a blind bit of difference to my purchasing decision but I guess it's different for a lot of others.
 
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mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
I'll never trust a 'smart lock' that depends on any kind of wireless communication between your cellphone and lock.

How do you secure the app from malware? How do you secure the transmission from skimming? Most of these companies suck at properly implementing encryptions and verifying security of their devices.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
It's 'nice' to see, they've adapted Apple's business model right out of the gate, 'it must be great, look how wildly it's overpriced'.
 

Tanstar

TS Evangelist
I'll never trust a 'smart lock' that depends on any kind of wireless communication between your cellphone and lock.

How do you secure the app from malware? How do you secure the transmission from skimming? Most of these companies suck at properly implementing encryptions and verifying security of their devices.
Y'all must live in a higher end area than me. The thieves around here are more the brick and a crow bar type. Anyone with enough tech experience to hack into a door can make more working from home, whenever they want, on legit work than they'd get robbing 10 homes a week where I live :)