August and Yale, the smart lock makers and subsidiaries of Swedish access control giant Assa Abloy, have announced an update to the Access smart lock manager app that will give users the option of adding biometric authentication as an added layer of protection.
When activated, the new feature — known as ‘Secure Remote Access’ — will use whichever form of biometric verification is available on the user’s mobile device (face, fingerprint, or iris) to authenticate their identity and ensure that nobody else can remotely lock or unlock their doors.
Secure Remote Access only prompts the user for biometric authentication when they attempt to lock or unlock a door, and is not required to simply view the lock status. It should be noted however, that in order to use the feature users will need to have an August Wi-Fi Smart Lock or a Yale or August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge and compatible lock, as (at least for the time being) it will not work over Bluetooth.
The access control market has recently been projected to grow to $12.8 billion by the year 2025, with experts highlighting biometric technology as playing a major role in the market going forward. Though that report focuses mainly on the increase in popularity of contactless biometric readers due to the rise of the COVID-19 virus, the recent addition of biometric authentication to smart locks by Yale and August speaks to the general growth of the tech and the corresponding rise of remote verification solutions.
Additionally, as a second layer of security, another new feature called ‘Hide Entry Codes’ is now available that can have the user require the same biometric authentication to prevent unauthorized people from seeing the digital keys that are used to open August and Yale locks.