The soon-to-launch Schlage Encode Plus smart lock could be the first to support Apple Home Key, according to various leaked documents. And, in another “first,” the smart lock looks likely to offer Thread support for HomeKit.
Home Key and the Wallet app
Apple first described Home Key at Worldwide Developers Conference 2021, saying it works much like adding a credit card in the Wallet App. So, using a Home Key saved in Wallet on an iPhone or Apple Watch, a person could unlock a supported smart lock just by swiping the device over the NFC reader.
HomeKit Authority said the deleted Home Depot listings showed the the Schlage Encode Plus coming in chrome, nickel and dark brown colors. The FCC filing confirmed the lock will connect to a smart home via Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and Thread using the Silicon Labs MGM12P32F1024GA chip. The lock also will include a keypad as well as a manual key and four AA batteries.
The FCC filing apparently also suggests two models could be available. One of them would feature a built-in alarm.
Apple Home Key and Thread support
Schlage’s lock will pair with HomeKit by either scanning the code or using NFC on compatible iPhones. However, HomeKit Authority noted, the Schlage installation guide on the company’s website refers to Apple Home Key support.
Completing the picture, the FCC filing confirms the presence of an NFC chip. That’s a key component for Apple Home Key to work.
The Encode Plus connects to HomeKit over Thread using a border router, such as a HomePod mini or Apple TV 4K. Thread support will enable a more stable connection and longer battery life.
HomeKit Authority noted there is no information about a possible shipping date for the lock. But the appearance of a Home Depot listing for it suggests it may be available soon.
Source: HomeKit Authority