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UniKey and Samsung team up to lock down the office

A newly announced partnership between UniKey and Samsung KNOX aims to bring the Kevo smart lock's touch-to-enter technology to businesses and institutions worldwide.

Sarah Tew/CNET

UniKey, makers of the technology inside of the Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth Deadbolt , will be partnering with Samsung's Knox Enterprise Mobility Solution, the company announced this week at Mobile World Congress. The integration partnership aims to bring the Kevo's touch-to-enter tech to businesses, commercial properties, and government institutions around the world.

The announcement comes shortly after the arrival of Kevo's Android app. With Samsung Knox now on board, UniKey can leverage its cloud-connected entry management service through a security-minded Android enterprise platform.

Available since 2013, the Kwikset Kevo packs Bluetooth 4.0 into a normal-looking deadbolt with a touch capacitive outer ring. When the lock senses the smartphone in your pocket, you can open it with a simple tap.

New in 2015 is a Kevo Plus gateway accessory , which plugs into your router to relay the lock's Bluetooth signal out over Wi-Fi, enabling remote lock and unlock functionality. With the Knox partnership, UniKey hopes to extend that same cloud functionality to doors, gateways, and badge access points in commercial institutions.

This isn't UniKey's first play at the commercial space. In June 2014, UniKey partnered with MIWA, a California manufacturer of hospitality locks, to bring keyless, smartphone-based entry into hotels. UniKey also touts the Kevo's compatibility with the Nest Learning Thermostat as a way for businesses to cut energy costs.