Kwikset hands Siri the keys with a new HomeKit lock

Sarah Tew/CNET

Known for the Kwikset Kevo lock that lets you touch to enter, Kwikset's newest smart deadbolt responds to voice commands thanks to Siri and Apple's HomeKit. Due out later in 2016, the Kwikset Premis joins HomeKit's growing roster of devices, which can work together and be controlled from your Apple device. Give a "Goodnight" to Siri for example, and it could lock your Kwikset Premis in the door, turn off your Philips Hue lights and turn on the Hunter ceiling fan above your bed.

As a HomeKit device, the Kwikset Premis will work with all of the established organizational pieces within the smart home software built into iOS 8 and 9. You'll be able to add the lock to room and zone groups and control it simultaneously with other devices. You'll also be able to establish custom scenes Siri will recognize -- you might choose to say, "Open Sesame" into your phone when you get home, for example, unlocking the door and triggering other welcoming actions.

The Premis isn't the first lock available for HomeKit. We liked the Schlage Sense when we reviewed it in October. Both work with Bluetooth primarily, so you'll need an Apple TV if you want to operate your lock remotely.

As with all HomeKit devices, adding multiple users can be a pain.

The Premis will mitigate that problem to an extent with a keypad on the front that can recognize up to 30 unique user codes at once, so you can track the comings and goings of your family members or guests. Schlage's smart lock has that function as well, and we've found it convenient at the CNET Smart Home, where we have it installed.

The Premis was introduced here at CES 2016 along with two other new deadbolts from the company:

  • The second-generation Kwikset Kevo will feature the same touch-to-enter design as the first Kevo smart lock, but is promising increased security with better protection against forced entry (read about our efforts at cracking the Kevo here). Though when we asked a representative at tonight's Bluetooth press event, the company wouldn't specify how it's pulling off this extra protection. The second-gen lock is also slightly smaller.
  • The Kwikset Convert sticks over your existing deadbolt, letting you bring smart control to your existing locks.

Both the new Kevo and the Convert require a separate hub for remote access. All three products are due out this year, and Kwikset hasn't confirmed any pricing. The original Kevo cost $220.

For more coverage from CES 2016, click here.

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