I’ve been researching Alexa controlled door locks and found that they all required a SmartThings or Wink hub to work with Alexa. One of the points of confusion was whether Alexa could really be used to verbally unlock the door with the concern being that a burglar could just stand outside your door and yell “Alexa, unlock the door”.There were reviews saying Alexa could do unlock the door and others saying Alexa unlock was disabled for security reasons… more on this later in my testing
Since I already had a front door smart deadbolt lock (Z-wave through a Nexia Hub), I decided to use the 912 Lever Lock model, which is only suitable for an INTERIOR door. However, I believe the 910 deadbolt locks operate in a similar manner
The Zigbee configuration was very easy. Just touch the internal programming button 4 times and say “Alexa, Discover”
Without changing anything, I could say “Alexa, lock the first door lock”. I immediately changed the name to “Entry Door”. However, I was not able to unlock the Entry Door, until I did some extra setup steps
Amazon did a really good job on making the unlocking secure as you will note by the next steps I had to go through.
However, if I say “Alexa, is entry door locked”, I get a response that the “Checking, hang on…” and then “Entry door isn’t responding. While not optimal, I can still ask Alexa to lock the door.
….. excuse me while I make a second post on this topic as I can only attached 5 images...
I spent over two hours in a chat with Amazon support and was passed through 5 levels.... here are the results:
1. The failure of Alexa to be able get the status of the lock. This was fixed by a power cycle of the Echo Show.... reasonable as that was the device where the lock was paired.
During this testing I uncovered an additional issue:
While the Echo Show, Echo Dot, Fire Tablet, and Android Phone can control the lock the Fire TV and iPhone can't!! They said locks aren't supported. Support said they would pass on the finding
2. The failure to enter local code in the lock was my poor eyesight. It works fine.
3. The lack of Alexa Routine Triggers for unlock such as when the kids come home is claimed to be due to the lack of the Kwikset Kevo Skill. When I went to add this it said it REQUIRES a Kevo hub at $100 ! When I pointed out that the Amazon web page for the Kwikset 912 lever lock zigbee version shows that I only need the Echo Show Gen 2 I have, the tech insisted that I need a hub. The Kevo hub page on the Amazon site shows that for Alexa to work you need a Kevo hub, but you really don't unless you need that feature
4. The removal of the "Alexa, Discover" feature was a point of contention between us as when I said this stops the use of Alexa Smart Home Skills that require a Discover, he claimed I should get a "hub". When I asked about the hub-less Wi-Fi devices such as WeMo, Smart Life and TP-Link Kasa he insisted I need a hub... but there is no hub for those devices... this ended our talk.
My current plans are to disjoin the lock from the Echo Show so that I can get Alexa Discover back and pair it with SmartThings to see if I can get the "unlock" triggers for Alexa Routines
I may also test a Kevo hub to see what features it really adds
I also want to add further clarification to this thread. Almost all major manufacturer zigbee locks will pair with echo plus and the new show and will lock via voice and unlock via voice code. I've paired Yale, Kwikset, Schlage and a few others. Please keep in mind that you may lose some features such as adding or changing passcodes for different users.
I don't use voice discover. The Alexa developers have good reason preventing voice discovery for security devices. Without going into great detail, allowing voice discovery of locks and other security devices could potentially result in some serious problems. As a former cybersecurity engineer, I feel that the Alexa devices should have a voice unlock feature for adding security devices.
Here's an example: You: "Alexa, discover devices." Alexa: "What's your security code?" You: "1234." Alexa: "Discovering."
In any event, you have to use the app to configure the hardware after it's discovered anyway.