SwitchBot announces a new $ 99 smart door lock that requires no tools to install

SwitchBot, the company that makes tiny robot fingers to press the switches for you, branches further into the smart home. The new SwitchBot lock ($ 99.99) attaches to your door and automatically turns your thumb to lock and unlock it. This is the simplest retrofitted smart lock solution I have ever seen. SwitchBot says it can be installed in seconds since there is no need to remove any part of your existing door lock. But it looks a little strange.

The SwitchBot lock will be available from June 20 at Amazon and the SwitchBot Store along with two compatible keyboards – the SwitchBot KeyPad ($ 29.99) and the SwitchBot KeyPad Touch with a fingerprint reader ($ 59.99).

There are two versions of the SwitchBot KeyPad, one with a fingerprint reader. They are sold separately from the lock.
Image: SwitchBot

Like a Bluetooth lock, you can control the SwitchBot lock with your smartphone or Apple Watch when you’re near the door. It also has an automatic locking function. To add voice control through Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa and control the lock when you’re away from home using the SwitchBot app, you need to get a SwitchBot Hub Mini ($ 39) and connect it to a USB socket near the lock.

The company says that the lock is compatible with most deadbolt locks, and it comes with three thumb swings in different sizes to fit a variety of designs. SwitchBot also works with additional accessories for more compatibility. The thumb swings protrude into the SwitchBot lock to “grip” and then turn the lock’s thumb swing automatically. You can also control it manually.

Easy installation makes this a good option for tenants. The SwitchBot lock uses 3M VHB to attach to the door, and you do not have to screw anything on the door or touch your existing lock. It is powered by two CR123A 3V batteries that promise six months of battery life.

A diagram of how the smart door lock works.
Image: SwitchBot

Examples of locking styles SwitchBot works with.
Image: SwitchBot

In addition to app control, voice control and keyboards, you can continue to unlock the door with your existing key, and there is the option to pair one of SwitchBot’s NFC tags with the lock.

There are not many retrofitted door lock options on the market (where you do not have to replace the entire door lock). The leader is the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, which is much more expensive at $ 230 but does not require a separate hub, and there is also the $ 125 Wyze Lock. However, both of these require you to remove some of your existing lock. SwitchBot Lock is a unique and innovative approach to creating a smart door lock, if not the most elegant option available.