Welcome to ‘Is It Smart?’, the blog series where I have a look at the smart technology installed within Tŷ Crempog to explore the power of BIM Level 2, PropTech, and the Internet of Things (IOT). This week, I take a look at the Conexis L1.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I have recently had Yale‘s Conexis L1, a keyless smart lock, installed. I have always liked the idea of having a keyless home, so when I arranged for BWM Ltd to install my new back door, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to have them also install the Conexis L1.
What is it?
I could say more, but I think this advert sums up what the Conexis L1 is nicely.
How does it work?
Instead of keys, the Conexis L1 uses the Yale app to register fobs, key cards, tags or smartphones to gain access through a combination of RFID and Bluetooth. Because these access methods are managed through the Yale app it means that access can be revoked if any of these devices are lost. Otherwise, the Conexis L1 works just like a hotel door lock.
How Did I Model it?
I haven’t (well at least not properly).
Because the Conexis L1 is a part of my front door, the modelling options are quite limited. I could have used something like IfcSwitchingDevice, IfcDiscreteAccessory or (when in doubt) IfcProxyElement. However, because of the way Revit works, ironmongery, like handles and locks, are typically nested onto their host objects. This means that if I put any information onto this object, none of it would be exported into IFC or COBie. However, I have already modelled a door handle, so I have modified this object to reflect my new smart lock t improve the accuracy of my doors geometry.
Is It Smart?
The Conexis L1 ticks some of the right boxes to be considered smart.
- Data In: The Conexis L1 maintains a list of devices that can be used for access as well as a history of devices that have locked/unlocked the door and when. All of this information is available through the Yale app (which is probably the worst app I have ever used!). Otherwise, the lock itself collects no other information.
- Data Out: Unfortunately, this is where the Conexis L1 really falls short. As far as I can tell, there is no method of exporting any information.
- Connectivity: The Conexis L1 cannot connect to other devices as standard, but using a Z-wave Module, its connectivity can be expanded to connect to the Yale Smart Living Home App and third-party devices like the Samsung Smart Things Hub. However, this connectivity comes at a cost as there are ways that the Z-wave module can be hacked (Thank you Rene for sending me this). Luckily for me, I don’t have a Z-wave Module, so my lock is safe and sound!
One thing I wish the Conexis L1 did was to confirm whether the door was currently locked or not. However, without internet access, or a Z-wave Module, this wouldn’t be possible. Otherwise, there isn’t much more I can expect a smart lock to do!
One thing I will say is that the smartphone unlock is terrible! Using Bluetooth instead of RFID is takes ages to unlock and the “Twist and Go” gesture is quite unreliable. It would work so much better if it used RFID. While there might be security issues, RFID is used for contactless payment, so I’m sure there are solutions. For now, I’ve now placed a key card in my phone case so I can bump my phone against the lock and instantly open my door as it if was RFID controlled. A man can dream…
Is It Smart? The answer is sort-of, with a mediocre IQ of 100!
Out of the box, the Yale Conexis L1 isn’t particularly smart. However, by using a Z-wave Module the lock becomes much much smarter; capable being controlled by voice and through IFTTT. Once connected, the Conexis L1 provides all of the functionality you would expect from a smart lock. However, gaining a direct connection to Google Home or Google Assistant (and a decent amount of development work on the app!) would help make the Conexis L1that much smarter.
And there you have it. This week my Conexis L1 proved to sort-of smart. Tune in next time where we take a look at another piece of smart technology and ask one simple question; Is It Smart?