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This little blue gizmo gives Yale locks Siri smarts

You'll soon be able to control select Yale deadbolts with Siri -- thanks to this clever blue module.

This blue HomeKit Network Module turns Yale's Real Living Assure Locks into smart Siri-enabled deadbolts.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Lock manufacturer Yale today announced upcoming compatibility with Apple's HomeKit smart-home platform. The company's line of Yale Real Living Assure Locks and Yale NexTouch Wireless Locks are expected to work with Siri and Apple's Home app for iPhone starting in March.

Up until this point, Yale locks have been limited to Z-Wave and ZigBee standards. Yale also announced a next-gen lock called Linus in partnership with Google/Alphabet's Nest back in 2015, but it has yet to hit retail. A spokesperson from Yale told me Linus was still in the works, although they did not give specifics on when to expect it in stores.

Adding compatibility with Apple's Siri-based HomeKit software should round out Yale's smart-home integrations so fans of both Google and Apple platforms have an option to consider.

HomeKit products require an Apple MFi chip, so manufacturers typically release new versions of the same devices with the updated hardware component. Startup August released a second-gen version of its Smart Lock ($97 at Amazon) when it partnered with HomeKit. But Yale found a clever workaround in the form of a blue insert called the HomeKit Network Module.

Not only does this mean that Yale lock customers will be able to ask Siri to lock the front door, they'll also have the chance to buy the module separately on and retrofit it to an existing, compatible Yale lock -- no need to buy an entirely new lock.

Yale hasn't yet shared pricing information on the HomeKit Network Module, but we should have more details closer to March when the HomeKit-enabled locks and separate modules go on sale.

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