New 'smart lock' lets user ditch keys - and open their door with a knock

The Sesame device in action
The Sesame device in action

A new ‘smart lock’ promises to let homeowners do away with keys entirely - and open their front doors with a ‘secret knock’.

An accelerometer inside the £60 Sesame device ‘listens’ for a set knock pattern on users’ front doors - then opens up the dead bolt.

Users can also open the door by doing the same knock on the surface of their smartphone.

The makers are aware some users may find this a trifle alarming, so the lock (which attaches to any make of deadbolt) can also be set to open after a signal from a smartphone app.

Once paired with a smartphone, Sesame can ‘recognise’ a device and open up in under a second, its makers claim.

[ How to stay safe on any online device ]

The app also stores a record of which users have come and gone - and you can check whether your door is locked via the internet.

The unit, which sticks to deadbolts using strong 3M adhesive, is connected to the internet via your home Wi-Fi router.

[ How to keep webcams and baby monitors safe from snoops and hackers ]

The £60 device works with any model of deadbolt
The £60 device works with any model of deadbolt

Many connected devices need to be hooked up to a central wireless hub and if a hacker is able to gain access to it, they could by extension reach any of your connected devices. Recent reports showed how a Russian website was streaming footage from hacked web cams and baby monitors from all over the world.

[ How to stay safe from telephone scams or vishing ]

A threat researcher from Security software firm Symantec, Candid Wueest, explains in a blog post:

"While the explosion of internet-enabled devices, known as the Internet of Things (IoT), holds exciting possibilities for home automation, it also presents some serious security challenges and home users need to be aware that it isn’t just their PCs or smartphones that could be compromised by attackers."

He goes on to offer some basic pointers to consider when installing smart home devices:

  • Only enable remote administration from the internet if you really need it

  • Set a strong password for the devices where possible

  • Use strong passwords and WP2 encryption to protect your Wi-Fi network

  • Use trusted smart home brands from companies that invest in security