Kevo is a smart lock which allows users to control their home from anywhere in the world. It uses your smartphone’s GPS location and motion sensors to determine when you are at home or away. You can even set it up so that if someone tries to break into your house, they will get a notification on your phone instead of getting angry at you!
In order for the device to work properly, it needs two things: A mobile network signal and Internet access. While many smartphones have both these features built in, some do not.
If you don’t have either of those things, then you won’t be able to use Kevo.
How does Kevo Work?
The first thing that happens when you turn on your smartphone is that it connects to the local Wi-Fi network (or any other) and searches for available networks. Once connected, it sends out a request to Google Maps for directions to your current location.
Once the user gets there, they see a list of places nearby that may interest them. Some of these places are listed as “Not Yet Open” – meaning that you haven’t visited them yet.
Other times, the places aren’t listed at all because they’re private residences or businesses.
If you see somewhere you want to visit, you click on it. This sends a request to Google Maps to find out how to get there.
Once the app has directions, it displays a list of options on how to get there (public transport, walking, driving, etc.)
As you make your way to your destination, the GPS in your phone measures the distance you’ve travelled and updates your location.
This is where the problem occurs. Since your phone has no idea that it’s in a different location, it begins sending out information about itself and its surroundings.
By using the “mobile device” as its source of GPS, the system thinks that you’re still at home or wherever your smartphone last picked up a signal. This means that when you visit your friends’ house for the first time, the system will believe that you’re entering a private residence rather than a public place!
Eventually, however, the servers will update themselves and allow you to unlock your home. The issue isn’t with the Kevo system; it just needs to be updated so that it knows that you’re not at home.
After waiting a few minutes, your system will find the updated information and allow you to unlock your door.
What about on Android?
A separate app, Kevo Mini, is available for devices using the Android operating system (OS). This is only available for download through the Google Play store and works with any device running Kit Kat or higher.
While the ‘regular’ version of the app, above, can be used on most modern Android smartphones, it requires that the device have certain hardware features in order to function properly. Kevo Mini circumvents these hardware restrictions by allowing you to use your phone’s built-in Wi-Fi capabilities to communicate with the lock, rather than using Bluetooth.
How does the Mini version work?
Instead of using your phone’s built-in Bluetooth capabilities, this app uses its Wi-Fi chip to communicate with the lock. The lock itself has a small amount of storage that can receive and store some minimal amount of information.
When you come within range of your house, your phone will connect to the Kevo’s Wi-Fi signal. From there, the lock and your phone will communicate with each other until you unlock the door.
When you come within range of your front door, your phone (with the Mini app installed) should begin automatically connecting to the Kevo’s Wi-Fi signal. If it doesn’t, then you will have to press the unlock button on the screen to connect.
Once connected, the app will display a message to you that it has connected to your lock. At this point, you should be able to unlock your door as usual.
If pressing the physical unlock button still doesn’t work, then read below:
What do I do if the status message doesn’t change?
The Mini app should display a message to you that it has successfully connected to your lock once you enter range.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Message transfer framework for mobile devices using bluetooth low energy (MT Schoolfield – 2015 – repositories.lib.utexas.edu)
- Knob (JA Snodgrass, MH Viklund, B Allen – US Patent App. 29/686,585, 2020 – Google Patents)
- Face Recognition Door Lock (A Ibro, AR Wong, MA Zyla – 2019 – digitalcommons.wpi.edu)
- Home Automation System: A cheap and open-source alternative to control household appliances (B Ruwaida, T Minkkinen – 2013 – diva-portal.org)
- Wireless Sensors Network and GSM Based Smart Home System and Some Other Applications (VL Kalyani, S Shrimali – researchgate.net)
- Smart Lock: Technical Report (S Schmieder – 2017 – trap.ncirl.ie)
- Desarrollo de interfaces gráficas en Matlab y Android para el control de sistemas domóticos utilizando el dispositivo de comunicación inalámbrica NodeMcu Esp8266. (AN Vivar Estrella – 2018 – 184.108.40.206)
- Smartphone activated door lock using wifi (MA Nurulfarah Afiqah – 2015 – digitalcollection.utem.edu.my)