Home Electronics Introducing the Yale Approach: A Slim, Wi-Fi Enabled Retrofit Smart Lock with Future-Ready Matter Connectivity
ElectronicsLife Style

Introducing the Yale Approach: A Slim, Wi-Fi Enabled Retrofit Smart Lock with Future-Ready Matter Connectivity

This week, Yale has introduced its inaugural smart door lock upgrade, the Yale Approach with Wi-Fi, priced at $129.99. This innovative lock is designed to be mounted solely on the door’s interior side, eliminating the need to replace the entire deadbolt mechanism to access smart functionalities such as automated unlocking and remote door management via smartphone. The Yale Approach is also compatible with a newly launched Yale Keypad ($69.99), with plans to introduce a fingerprint-enabled model later in the year. Additionally, Yale has announced that the lock will receive a firmware update enabling Matter-over-Thread connectivity, further expanding its capabilities.

Retrofit locks offer a practical solution for those who cannot replace their locks entirely, such as renters, or for individuals who wish to maintain the aesthetic appeal of their existing door hardware while benefiting from voice-activated lock management.

The Yale Approach lock encompasses all the essential features one would expect from a smart lock, including auto-unlocking, auto-locking, and one-touch locking via the keypad. It can be managed through the Yale Access app, which allows users to monitor access history and set up schedules and routines. The lock comes with a Yale Connect module for Wi-Fi connectivity, operates on four AA batteries, and boasts a battery life of up to 12 months. It is compatible with all leading smart home platforms, with the exception of Apple Home.

The Yale Approach lock is available in black or silver and includes a Yale Connect module. The Yale Keypad is sold separately and operates over Bluetooth with a range of 30 feet.

As a retrofit lock, the Yale Approach maintains compatibility with traditional keys, and it can be paired with the new Yale Keypad (offering a combined purchase price of $179.99), which can store up to 250 unique access codes.

Yale’s product manager, Ryan Daviau, has stated that the keypad will also be compatible with most existing August smart locks (excluding the first and second generations), providing a convenient upgrade option for those looking to enhance their security system with a touchpad keypad. The upcoming fingerprint version will introduce biometric access to the August locks for the first time.

The Yale Approach shares a strong resemblance with the August Smart Lock + Connect, a previous release, but with a slimmer design and a lower price point, it is poised to become a popular alternative. However, the flagship August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, recognized for its compact and sleek design, remains a competitive option, despite its higher price and shorter battery life. Unlike the Yale Approach, it is compatible with Apple Home.

 

DAHUA IPC-HFW3441M-AS-I2 4MP IR Fixed focal Bullet WizSense Network Camera

DAHUA IPC-HFW3441M-AS-I2 4MP IR Fixed focal Bullet WizSense Network Camera

 

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> 4MP, 1/3” CMOS image sensor, low illuminance, high image definition

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> Alarm: 2 in, 2 out; Audio: In, out; supports max. 256 G Micro SD card

> 12V DC/PoE power supply, 12V power output, max. current 165mA

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EPC230U

 

2MP 30x Explosion-proof IR Network Camera

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DAHUA SDZW2030U-SL 2MP 30x Anti-corrosion IR Network Camera

DAHUA SDZW2030U-SL 2MP 30x Anti-corrosion IR Network Camera

SDZW2030U-SL

 

2MP 30x Anti-corrosion IR Network Camera

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DAHUA IPC-HFW3241M-AS-I2 2MP IR Fixed focal Bullet WizSense Network Camera

DAHUA IPC-HFW3241M-AS-I2 2MP IR Fixed focal Bullet WizSense Network Camera

 

IPC-HFW3241M-AS-I2

 

> 2MP, 1/2.8” CMOS image sensor, low illuminance, high image definition

> Outputs max. 2MP (1920 × 1080)@30 fps

> H.265 codec, high compression rate, low bit rate

> Built-in IR LED, max. IR distance: 80 m

> ROI, SMART H.264+/H.265+, flexible coding, applicable to various bandwidth and storage environments

> Rotation mode, WDR, 3D DNR, HLC, BLC, digital watermarking, applicable to various monitoring scenes

> Intelligent detection: Intrusion, tripwire (support the classification and accurate detection of vehicle and human)

> Abnormality detection: Motion detection, video tampering, scene changing, audio detection, no SD card, SD card full, SD card error, network disconnection, IP conflict, illegal access, voltage detection

> Alarm: 2 in, 2 out; Audio: In, out; supports max. 256 G Micro SD card

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DAHUA IPC-MDW4330-M12 3MP IR Mini Eyeball Network Camera

DAHUA IPC-MDW4330-M12 3MP IR Mini Eyeball Network Camera

 

IPC-MDW4330-M12

 

3MP IR Mini Eyeball Network Camera

 

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DAHUA ECA7A1425-HNR-XA-F 4MP 25x Starlight IR WizMind Explosion-proof Network Camera

 

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4MP 25x Starlight IR WizMind Explosion-proof Network Camera

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> Fiber port

Daviau also mentioned that the Yale Approach will receive an upgrade to support Matter later this year, utilizing a currently inactive Thread radio within the lock. This will enable the lock to communicate with Thread-enabled Amazon Echo or Google Home devices through Matter, providing an alternative remote access option. Users will have the choice between connecting via the included Yale Connect module or upgrading to Matter connectivity at a later date. Matter-over-Thread will ensure compatibility with all major smart home platforms, including Apple Home, without the need for a separate Connect module. With the Connect module, the Yale Approach will be compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Samsung SmartThings, but not with Apple Home.

Thread’s attributes as a wireless protocol for smart locks—such as low power consumption, low latency, and direct internet connectivity, eliminating the need for a separate bridge or hub—have made it a desirable feature. However, its adoption in smart locks has been limited. While Schlage’s Encode Plus and Yale’s Thread module for its older Assure Lock SL are available, they do not support Matter. Nuki offers a retrofit Matter-over-Thread lock for European locks, but it lacks a fingerprint reader.

Upon the release of Yale’s biometric keypad, the Yale Approach will join a select few Matter-over-Thread smart locks with biometric features. It is expected to be more affordable than its counterpart, the Ultraloq Bolt Fingerprint Matter, which is slated for release later this year and will operate over Thread.

A comprehensive review of the new Yale Approach with Wi-Fi smart lock is forthcoming, showcasing its performance and features in detail.

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