Monkey chip brings keyless entry to communal entryways

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Monkey allows you to let in delivery people when you're away from home

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Smart home technology has made it easy to remotely adjust thermostats or switch lights on and off using mobile devices, and door locks, too, can now be opened with just a tap on a smartphone screen. But what if you live in a gated community or apartment building? Locumi Labs has just launched a smart device that upgrades intercoms to enable keyless entry for such residences.

While homeowners of standalone properties have plenty of options when it comes to smart locks, with units such as the Sesame smart lock and Haven catering to this market, those in apartments or gated communities aren't so well served. The Locumi Labs monkey is different in that it operates through an existing intercom in order to bring smart functionality to communal entryways.

Measuring 50 x 50 x 9 mm (L x W x H), monkey is a chip that is designed to connect to any intercom. Despite requiring removing the intercom enclosure and some minor messing about with wires, its creators claim installation is a simple three-step process that just about anyone can handle. Once hooked up and connected to one's Wi-Fi network, monkey lets users open doors and/or gates by remote command, smartphone GPS proximity, or at pre-set time windows. And because monkey integrates into the intercom's power supply, there's no need to charge or replace batteries.

The monkey app, compatible with iOS and Android devices, provides depth of control as well as notifications and permissions. You can lounge about the pool and be informed when someone is buzzing for you at the door. Or if you're expecting company or a package delivery, the app lets you set time windows for automatic entry. You can even add and remove access to other users, all without having to hassle with changing locks or duplicating keys.

Monkey is touted as a "smart entry" device, which means users can still use regular smart locks on their main home doors. Those who live within gated entrances have the potential to go fully wireless and completely keyless between the two types. And if you happen to forget your smartphone inside the house, monkey doesn't prohibit you from using good, old-fashioned mechanical keys.

The monkey smart key is currently funding on Kickstarter, having raised 43 percent of its US$56,860 goal in one day, with another 53 days left to go. A pledge of $56 sets you up for one monkey chip, saving an estimated 50 percent off the planned retail price.

If the hardware, firmware, and mobile app development go according to schedule, backers can expect shipments of monkey to start sometime in June, 2016.

Check out the Kickstarter video below for an overview of how monkey works.

Source: Kickstarter

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