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Smart Home

The Gate smart lock is a Swiss Army knife for home security

Say hello to Gate, an Indiegogo-backed product that crams a deadbolt, a doorbell and a security camera into a single smart-home device.

Gate Labs

Why bother with a bunch of pesky accessories when you can have a single device do all of the heavy lifting? That's the idea behind Gate Labs' Gate smart lock. As a Wi-Fi deadbolt with a built-in keypad, camera, motion detector, speaker, microphone and "call" button, Gate promises to do much more than your standard app-enabled lock.

Gate is in the middle of an Indiegogo campaign, and the product has already raised more than double its original $70,000 funding goal. The $179 "Super Early Bird" price tier is sold out, but folks worldwide can still preorder Gate for $214, with shipping slated for March 2017 (roughly £175 and AU$280 at the current exchange rate). Given Gate's projected retail price of $300, that's still a decent discount for backers.

While we haven't seen a product quite like Gate, it does remind me of a fellow Indiegogo project -- the ill-fated Goji Smart Lock. We wrote about Goji back in 2013 when a connected lock was a pretty revolutionary idea, let alone one with an included camera. But roughly three years later, Goji's backers are still waiting for their product. That means Gate has the chance to be the first DIY smart lock-doorbell-camera hybrid to make it to the mass market.

So, what exactly are Gate's claims? Check out the rundown to the right, straight from the team's crowdfunding page. Basically, Gate Labs took cues from today's smart locks, smart doorbells and smart security cameras and designed a single product to perform all of those functions.

Gate Labs

I like that Gate relies on a rechargeable battery rather than AAs a la August's Smart Lock, but I do question its battery life. August runs primarily on Bluetooth LE to conserve power, but it does give you the option to add in Wi-Fi connectivity via either a Connect module or August's Wi-Fi Doorbell Cam so you can access the lock outside of Bluetooth range as needed. Gate claims its rechargeable battery should last for up to four months, but that could easily vary depending on usage.

And, like other smart locks available today, Gate also comes with a companion app for remotely accessing your lock, the camera's live feed and the two-way talk intercom function.

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As far as integrations with other manufacturers' products go, Gate Labs says the lock will work with Amazon Alexa, the online retailer's digital, voice-controlled assistant, so you can control the lock hybrid with voice commands. Gate Labs also plans to add HomeKit, Nest and IFTTT integration in the future. All of that sounds nice, but it isn't that simple. In particular, HomeKit products, which are powered with Apple's digital assistant, Siri, require a built-in chip that necessitates second-gen hardware. Most likely, that means early Gate adopters won't have that functionality unless they buy an updated version of the lock in the future, and there's no guarantee that Gate will make a second-generation of the lock.

We'll track the Gate's progress and try to get our hands on one next year. Stay tuned.

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