Smart lock company Latch announced its newest partnership with security and intercom manufacturer Comelit on Tuesday. Latch currently offers three different locks, including mortise and deadbolt models. Comelit is an Italian company that makes intercoms, as well as home automation and access control systems.
The duo are looking to improve automated and smart access in apartment and commercial buildings. Delivery and guest access is a hot topic in the smart home world these days with the release of Amazon's Key delivery system, which lets delivery people access your home to drop off your shopping. That system doesn't work in a lot of apartment buildings, because municipalities have rules about cameras and hard-wired access points.
Many cities require intercoms to provide hard-wired connections in individual apartments to be sure residents can provide front-door access to emergency services. This makes smart access a challenge, since an app won't meet the hard-wired requirement. Latch and Comelit propose a system in which nonresidents -- delivery people, dog walkers, your mom arriving in the middle of the day -- are granted access through the Latch app in conjunction with a Comelit intercom panel hard-wired into the building, and thus checking the boxes for most building regulations.
In this scenario, a Comelit entry panel would display apartment numbers. The delivery person or guest could call your unit, and an alert would be sent to your phone via the Latch app, as well as the hard-wired Comelit intercom panel in the apartment. You would then see the person requesting access and choose whether or not to let them in.
Buildings often deal with two or three separate systems to manage access. One for common areas, another for individual apartments and a third for exterior intercom systems. Latch and Comelit want to combine these functions into one access system.
With so much news in the ever-growing market of home delivery, it'll be interesting to see how apartments and commercial spaces adapt to automated and smart access systems. Latch and Comelit plan to roll out their combined product in 2018.