Alternative way to use Auto-Unlock (With Fob)

Product name

Smart-Lock (And Fob)

Summary

Use a permanently installed Fob to open the door, but only when a permitted smartphone is in bluetooth-range of the Smart-Lock.

Features

I would like to permanently install a Fob on the outside of my door to open the Smart-Lock, if my smartphone is in bluetooth-range of the Nuki. The feature should also include a manually calibratable rssi-threshhold, so that it does not allow to open, if my smartphone is somewhere inside the apartment, but still in weak bluetooth-range of the Nuki)

Reason

The current auto-unlock feature often is not ideal or not usable in some cases (i.e. going to the neighbour, bringing out garbage, house with 2 entrances…) Furthermore, geofence in general is not 100% perfect, especially not with all smartphones. It uses a lot of energy on the smartphone and is often inaccurate. And the bluetooth opening often occours fully unwanted or at least not within the right timing. It just does not work as I would expect from a 250€ device.

In contrast to the Nuki auto-unlock feature, I am very happy with my Tesla, wich uses the concept I proposed above: It does not automatically unlock if I am near, however, it allows me to unlock the car with the door-handle, when my smartphone has a strong bluetooth-connection. It works absolutely perfectly and I never heard some security issues from Tesla cars regarding the unlock-feature. And it does everything without any location data from my smartphone, so is quite battery-efficient and has no problem with inaccurate GPS-data.

Furthermore, because there should not be a need for new hardware, this feature could easily be implemented on software-side to current Nuki models and would add an extra and for many users really convenient way to use the Nuki.

My idea would be much more reliable and in my opinion it is more safe than the current feature. As mentioned above, I have unwanted openings every one to two weeks, and then my door is fully open, because I have a knob on the outside. Everyone can see the open door from the street and enter my house. With my feature, even if there is a false-positive bluetooth connection to my smartphone, e.g. if I leave it next to the Nuki, it is not obviously visible from the outside and someone has to activly try to push the button and open the door.

I know there are some alternative options to use Nuki, however I can explain why I don´t want to use them:

  • Keypad: It takes longer to enter a 6-digit-code than to open the app on smartphone and open manually
  • current Fob: I have to take it with me
  • Fingerprint reader: It is very expensive, big device and very slow

Yes, the current auto-unlock feature would be slightly more convenient because it opens fully automatically, but it is that much more unreliable and sometimes unsafe, that it is not a pleasure to use. Currently, in about 10% of openings I have to take out my smartphone to open. In conclusion, my solution would be the best compomise between convenience and reliability/security.

Examples

More secure and reliable in all situations because of

  • no need to leave geofence
  • independent of smartphone-location-data
  • acurate timing of the opening, especially important if you have a door with knob
  • no unwanted openings, also very important for doors with knob
  • nothing to carry with you
  • faster and more easy to use with full hands than Keypad/Fingerprint reader (Fob can be pressed with elbow for example)
  • better smartphone battery-life

Only possible way to use in following situations:

  • Going to the neighbour
  • Bringing out garbage
  • Not leaving geofence for whatever other reason
  • House with 2 entrances
  • House with 2 Nukis
  • Location feature of smartphone switched off
  • And many more…

I found so many people having problems with auto-unlock here in this section and never read an answer of a Nuki employee. Please answer and tell us if we can expect a feature to enhance auto unlock, one of the main features of Nuki for many of us.
Thanks a lot,
Christoph

1 Like

We do not comment about our roadmap and planned features upfront / here in the forum.
However, what we typically do is to let you know if a feature is impossible to realize.

Your feature request is a valid one, although very complex to realize. Esp. because of the security risks that could arise from it (range extenders, in/out detection).

Would it not be better, to use the nuki keypad for this?

why can’t the geofence just be set to 20 m? It annoys me that it only works without a cell phone when you have to go so far. I would like to be with my neighbor or in our back garden without opening the patio door. then auto unlock does not work. Unfortunately, I understood that differently before buying and advertising. this should definitely be improved. A lot of money when I always have to take out my cell phone, open the app, swipe and confirm. then i can get a key out of my pocket right away …

Its just hard to hold a reliable location in a range of 20meters, - how more little the Geofence is, how more will it take time to react, when at all in too short cases, and 20meters are very short for a Geofence, - in my experience the troubles beginning with a Geofence range below 100meters.

Geofencing is a feature of the mobile phones operating system (i.e. iOS and Android). iOS does not allow fences smaller than 100m and Apple recommends do not use fence sizes smaller than 200m. Android supports smaller fences, but they do not work reliably. So 100m is the smallest realistic size with the existing technology (which is mainly limited by the fact that energy is a constraint and neither Nuki nor a mobile phone are mains powered. I.e. have to be very careful and restricted in regards to battery usage).

:+1:

First of all, I want to say thank you to the Nuki team, that they answer and explain how they work/why they don´t answer usually to feature requests. That is really customer focused and sadly not standard today.

Yes, you are right, there are some possibilities that could end in an unwanted opening. However, if you calibrate the RSSI threshhold, then it should work very safely in many homes, where the door is not directly next to the living room. Furthermore, as I mentioned above, the current auto-unlock brought me into unwanted openings (and twice the door was open for a whole day because of that) many times. So to be honest, I would not call it very safe. But for me, that is not a huge problem, I mean if someone wants to enter the house, then he can do no matter what I try to prevent him from. And Tesla cars work exactly that way, so I think that this would be justifiable without further security checks other than just RSSI-range-check. I mean maybe there are homes and conditions that this feature would not work properly, however there are also conditions where the classic auto-unlock does not work, too. So if I could choose as a costumer which way I want auto-unlock to work, that would be great! :smiley:

And there are currently so many problems with iOS 15 regarding the geofence, that this feature would be great to eliminate the need of geofencing at all.

First of all it takes much longer to push 6 buttons instead of one, furthermore there is quite some delay after the code is fully entered and lastly if I have my hands full, it´s much more easy to press one “big” button instead of 6 small ones.

I understand! I don’t know, but can nfc used as a secured key, because with nfc such things would be very easy, but I don’t know, if nfc can maybe easily hacked, to get a nuki lock open!?

I think that should be possible. As far as I know some NFC Cards are very secure (credit card, parking card…)

However then I have to take something with me and take it out from wherever I store it and put it back after opening. Then I could directly use the fob in its intended way and have no advantage of Nuki to leave everything than my smartphone at home

if … should … where … is not. I won’t comment on it, but there are some risks associated to such a feature too.

You will still need geofencing (for security reasons) and backgrounding (phone needs to be searchable via BLE) for the feature to work.

Bear in mind that even with a fob on the outside scanning for the mobile phone, communicating with it in some way (just presence alone is most likely not secure enough) and sending the lock command to the Smart Lock will take some time too. All 3 devices are battery driven and not instantly available.

I would think of a nfc patch or sticker on your wallet or watch, or anything you have on you most of the time! Nuki has a api, so I will try this out and build a little arduino system with nfc, what opens the nuki over the api then! I am excited how reliable this would work!