SAN FRANCISCO—Smart lock company August Home, a subsidiary of ASSA ABLOY, in July announced that it hit the 1 million user milestone for its app. Dale Pistilli, August's VP of marketing and sales, talked with Security Systems News about the factors that led to this milestone and the prospects for the smart lock market down the road.
“First and foremost, it’s about having a great user experience. We went to great lengths—and have a great passion around—designing an awesome product that is very finely engineered, uses the best materials,” Pistilli said. “As important for our category, it’s having a really strong software both in the cloud as well as in a device [and] in the app.”
Half of August’s employee base is involved in software or software quality assurance, Pistilli noted.
“I think we're just solving a problem that a lot of people have. A lot of people want to be able to have more control over their front door—it makes them feel more secure, it really adds a lot of convenience. So, it’s genuinely solving a user problem,” he said.
August has offerings designed for direct to consumer channels as well as products sold through professional installers.
August’s user base can be divided into two categories, owners that can manage the lock and guests that are granted access for specific purposes or times. “It’s typically just under a 4-to-1 ratio of users to locks,” Pistilli estimated, meaning 1 million users equates to nearly 300,000 smart locks in use, he said.
Integration is another key factor that has pushed the company forward, according to Pistilli. “One of the most important developments in smart locks [over] the last few years has been integration with various smart home systems,” Pistilli said, and August seeks to stay brand neutral, working with many companies.
August works with Z-Wave Plus, allowing the lock to work with Alarm.com or Honeywell products. The company also works closely with Apple, Google and Amazon, Pistilli said.
“AirBnB is one that we started working with very early on, enabling guests to be able to access a property and not have to worry about finding that lockbox or finding that key for the AirBnB property,” said Pistilli.
Integration with doorbell cameras has also been a key development for the company, he said.
Asked about potential challenges for the smart lock market, Pistilli pointed to the task of cost effectively raising awareness about smart locks.
ASSA ABLOY acquired August Home in September 2017. “It’s been great for us, because we’re working on some integrations so that August can work with the Yale and other ASSA ABLOY locks,” Pistilli said.
ASSA ABLOY is involved in many markets around the world, Pistilli noted. “We think there’s a lot of potential for international growth for our brand and for our technology.”
“I think that the maturation of … unattended in-home delivery, as we call it, will be another one of the big drivers,” Pistilli said. “That’s an area that’s still in its early days, but once that becomes mainstream, this will be a market [where] you have a smart lock on 20-, 30-, 40 percent of the homes versus now, where you have 5 to 7 percent.”Topic: Residential Tags: August Home, Assa Abloy, Dale Pistilli