October 25, 2015
There are a lot of smart lock options out there and more and more homes are becoming keyless. However, most of the smart locks available have one big drawback, they don't work for people who live in apartment buildings and have to unlock more than one entrance to access their apartment. So they're basically useless for the almost 35% of Americans who live in buildings of five or more units.
Munich based technology company Locumi Labs (note: website is in German) has come up with a solution. Their Monkey is a smart lock for main building doors. It is useful for those living in apartment buildings as well as those who have gated entrances. There is no alterations that need to be made to the door, just a small wi-fi enabled chip that gets installed into the apartment's intercom.
A few months ago I wrote about Bekey, another solution for apartment dwellers. I mentioned that Bekey has one major drawback that other smart locks do not have: you need a electrician to install it. Since Bekey needs to sync to your apartment's intercom, they recommend leaving the installation to a trained professional. This is an added step (or multiple steps if you include making the appointment) that costs time and money. Sure, once it's installed, it will make your life more convenient, but it could be a hassle initially.
The difference with Monkey is that it's completely DIY. It can be installed in less than 3 minutes without the need for an electrician or landlord permission (although it's probably a good idea to get permission anyway). Another benefit is that it plays well with other smart locks you may have, such as August, Danalock, Goji, Glue, Friday, Kevo, Lockitron, Nuki or Sesame.
On October 12th, they launched a Kickstarter campaign where they have already reached 130% of their goal with 41 days still remaining at the time of this writing. Their home city of Munich allowed them to offer a unique reward for backers pledging $7,960 (or 7,000 Euros). They offered these backers a reserved table at Oktoberfest with the Monkey team and a sight-seeing tour of the city.
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