The internet of things continues to build steam, while delivering more and more products with promise of making our lives easier. One particular area that has been gaining steady ground is the smart locking systems. There are already all kinds of Bluetooth-ready locks on the market, so when Igloohome reached out to me to kick the tires of their Deadbolt 02, I couldn't say no.
What arrived was immediately impressive; the product is solid and includes very detailed instructions on how to install the device. Of course, I'm not going to go through the process of installing a deadbolt (for that you'll need to channel your inner woodworker). I want to address the app side of things and some possible caveats to this particular line of products.
What you get
When you purchase the Igloohome Deadbolt 02, you get everything you need (minus the tools) to install the device (Figure A). Do note that you will have to drill an extra hole in your door to use this product; so if you're not handy with a drill, you might want to find someone else to handle the installation.
The Deadbolt 2 includes four AA batteries. That's right, the product does require batteries to function. That is where one of my first concerns for the product come in. Batteries eventually fail—which is to be expected—and Iglooohome has provided for that eventuality. Should you find the battery in a failed state (or the device not responding, for whatever reason), you can pop off the cap (Figure B) and use the included keys
The one caveat to accessing the analog key feature is that the cap requires a sharp object (like a pen), in order to gain entry. No sharp object? No entry.
The app can be found on the Google Play Store. Installation is simple:
- Open the Google Play Store on your Android device
- Search for Igloohome
- Locate and tap the entry by Igloohome
- Tap Install
- Allow the installation to complete
Once installed, you will find the launcher for the app on your home screen or your App Drawer (or both). Tap the launcher and you will then be prompted to either sign into your existing account or register for a new one. The registration process is simple and the account is free.
Once you've registered (and verified) your account, you must setup your device; to do this, open up the app, tap the "hamburger menu" (three horizontal lines in the top left corner), and tap Set Up Home. You then have to select your product (Figure C) and then walk through the user-friendly wizard to setup your Deadbolt 02.
The setup isn't at all challenging and, in the end, you will be rewarded with the ability to open your Deadbolt 02 with the tap of a button (Figure D).
If you don't have your phone with you, you can always memorize your master PIN and use it on the Deadbolt 02 PIN pad.
One of the other very nice features of the Deadbolt 02 is the ability to create temporary PINS. Say, for instance, you've hired a temporary employee, you're going on vacation, or you simply need to give someone access to whatever it is that lies behind door number 3; you can create the following types of PINs:
To create a pin, tap the PIN tab at the bottom of the screen (square of circles) and then tap the + button (Figure E). Select the type of PIN you want to create and follow the instructions (the steps will depend upon the type of PIN you create).
The biggest problem for any IoT device is the danger of hacking. Considering the Igloohome devices use Bluetooth, it is only a matter of using the right attacks to possibly gain entry. Attacks like:
- Blueprinting: The process of footprinting
- Bluesnarfing: This attack gathers data from the Bluetooth-enabled device (such as SMS messages, calendar info, images, the phone book, and chats)
- Bluebugging: The attacker is able to take control of the target device
- Bluesmack: A DoS attack against Bluetooth devices
Of course, your average user would not be able to pull off such a hack, so it's not like just anyone is going to manage to gain access to your building.
Although the Igloohome devices do not attach themselves to your network (so no one is going to be able to hitch a ride into your data), the weaknesses of Bluetooth security do apply. Because of this, it is not beyond the realm of the possible that someone could hack the lock and gain entry to your home or business. Because of this, Igloohome has included a log feature, but even that only works when you've set up visitors. I would highly recommend Igloohome add a log feature for every usage of the device (or an alert, should something like DoS attack be in progress).
Next, the Deadbolt 02 was rather finicky when trying to pair a smartphone. I managed to get a OnePlus 3 paired after three tries; however, when I created a visitor key, so that a Nexus 6 could connect, the pair was never successful. Your mileage may vary on the ability to connect multiple devices to the Deadbolt 02. Fortunately, you can simply create a temporary PIN for other users.
Finally, when you use the app to open the device, there is a two to three second lag before it turns the bolt and allows you entrance. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need immediate access to your building, frustration could mount quickly.
Is the Deadbolt 02 ready to protect your home or business?
Outside of my concern for the insecurity surrounding Bluetooth (one that the average person would not be able to take advantage of), I feel the Igloohome Deadbolt 02 is a device that is certainly worth your time. Currently the Deadbolt 02 sells for $199.00 (down from $249.00), so if you're interested in a Bluetooth-enabled smart lock, jump on it right away.
- How blockchain could revolutionize IoT security (TechRepublic)
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- Why IoT education is necessary to protect yourself from cyber attacks (TechRepublic)
- How Cisco will help Apple keep its iOS devices secure (TechRepublic Video)
- South Korea ranks highest for IoT readiness in APeJ: IDC (ZDNet)
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.