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Haven's Smart Lock ditches the deadbolt

Haven's crowd-funded Smart Lock wants to challenge the DIY security status quo.

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Megan Wollerton
meganwollertonportraits0719-23a

Megan Wollerton

Senior Writer/Editor

Megan Wollerton has covered technology for CNET since 2013. Before that, she wrote for NBC's Dvice.com (now SyFy). Megan has a master's degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College, both in international relations. She is a board member of the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. When Megan isn't writing, she's planning far-flung adventures.

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Haven

A barrage of locks have entered the smart home scene lately, including August , Goji , Kwikset's Kevo , and Lockitron . While each brand made different design choices, they all follow one key DIY principle -- that you should be able to attach your new smart lock to your existing deadbolt.

This install-light approach is an appealing option for a lot of folks, but startup Haven wasn't impressed. It claims that these retrofit smart locks offer convenience, but not security.

We definitely saw weakness with the Kwikset Kevo, which one of our technical editors, Steve, disabled in less than 5 minutes and Chris Lind, a professional locksmith from Bob Cook Locksmiths, circumvented in just 30 seconds.

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Haven

Some dismiss the limitations of deadbolts, claiming that no lock can deter a determined burglar in the end. Haven seems to have found fault with this argument, though, citing "weak" locks as the reason for the majority of successful forced entries. So, it decided to create a new standard for the vulnerable entry-points in your home: The Haven Smart Lock, a device that actually avoids the lock altogether.

Haven's Smart Lock is a steel, glass, reinforced nylon and aluminum strip that you install at the base of your door inside your house. It's supposed to act like a doorjamb that wedges up against the door when engaged and releases when unlocked. You can manually release the lock from inside if you don't have a connected gadget handy, but otherwise, this Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-enabled gizmo is designed to work with Android and iOS devices and well as wearables.

That way, you can come and go as you please without the bother of keys and you can extend access to friends and family, too. This battery-powered Smart Lock is equipped with relays so it will continue to operate if you lose power or if your internet connection goes kaput. Haven also claims to have Nest Developer Program and Apple iOS 8 HomeKit integration in the works.

Haven's Kickstarter campaign launched a couple of days ago, and it's already a third of the way toward its $150,000 funding goal (which converts to roughly £90,000 or AU$170,000). Smart Lock prices for early backers start at $200 (roughly £125 and AU$225) and units are supposed to ship August 2015.