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August: Using Smartphones to Launch Innovative Smart Lock Business

Bringing Next Generation Technology to Home Security

With the rapid advances in technology and gadgetry being felt everywhere from online business, to mobile communications, to social media, it is easy to forget that certain segments of the marketplace could stand to benefit from new and innovative ideas.  One specific area that seems to remain an untapped gold mine of expendable income is bringing technology to the average home, allowing everyday people to equip their home with advances in security, climate control, and home media.  While some companies have traded in this business since well before the rapid advances this past decade, notably Brookstone and other high-end luxury retailers, today’s home is an area still very much similar to homes of the past three decades.

However, the secret is beginning to get out, and many companies are now creating advanced technologies in mobile communications with intuitive, useful systems for managing and securing your home.  One of the foremost among these is August, which recently announced its new Smart Lock system. The Smart Lock system aims to allow you to unlock your home or office using your smartphone device, from anywhere.


Who Needs A Key Ring?

The potential for this type of service is limitless, and the options literally multiply as you consider them.  Imagine being on vacation in the Caribbean, but being able to let in someone to check on your home just in case you need it.  With the rise of private property-rental services like Airbnb, you could now rent out your second residence without having to organize key drops or other inconveniences of the sort.  When you get that sinking feeling in your stomach halfway to work that you forgot to lock the door on your way out, a few swipes of your smartphone will put your mind at ease.

On top of that, August also brings a sensible design to both the physical lock system and the dedicated mobile app as well.  Both features look elegant, modest, and fit in well as an addition to your home that not only displays luxury, but next-generation sensibility as well.  August plans to offer the Smart Lock system for an eminently affordable $199, certainly pricing out some casual consumers but allowing large segments of the market access to a top-notch security control system, without draining their bank accounts.


August’s SWOT Analysis


  • No established competition in this area, allowing August to establish itself as the trusted and reliable brand
  • Convenient for all manner of homeowners.  From city dwellers looking to let in UPS deliveries, to vacation landlords looking for an easier way to control their properties
  • Affordable for the “coolness” element.  Slick design and responsive technology fits the $199 price point well


  • Branding.  While certainly a useful idea, August needs to ensure that the product gets proper promotional and advertising support
  • Growing competition from other companies like Kwikset demonstrate a wide-array of rivals for August
  • $199, the price of a Kindle Fire HD, will certainly scare off many casual customers, as well as renters unable to justify the cost


  • Partnering with brand names in home security, or with big box chains like Target or Wal-Mart, could ensure August Smart Lock greater exposure to potential customers
  • Updated features including a memory of trusted users etc. could help expand the Smart Lock’s usefulness and make it more appealing to a greater array of customers


  • As stated before, many companies taking notice of void in useful home technologies, including current rivals like Kwikset
  • Price point could remove large enough segments to impact profitability of product


Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs studying the home technologies market can immediately glean two things; there is an unbelievable amount of opportunity for new products and companies centered around this potentially lucrative market, and there are also companies taking advantage of those opportunities already (though not many).  August is one of them, and combining Apple-like tendencies for design and presentation with Google-like concentration on functionality and usefulness is a respectable way to tackle this opportunity.  It seems simple, but as entrepreneurs we can stand to gain much from combining these two eminently successful approaches in our own ventures.

Whether you are planning to dive into this emerging new market or not, understand that spending equal amounts of attention to both innovation and opportunity allows your company to identify unique markets that emerge before others see them.  While August is facing growing competition from new arrivals, by focusing on wowing customers with a slick design and an easy-to-communicate usefulness the company has set itself up to make a clear splash with home owners.  It just remains to be seen whether the price point is low enough to bring in enough happy customers to create a ripple effect in the market for future August products.


Go cash in on today,