After teasing it for over a year, Austrian smart lock maker Nuki has launched its Matter-over-Thread smart lock. The Nuki Smart Lock 4.0 is the company’s fourth generation of its retrofit smart lock for European-style doors and is the first built from the ground up to work with the new smart home standard. “We are the world’s first smart lock to fully integrate Matter into the product. No bridge or module is required, and parallel use with manufacturers’ apps is possible without limitations,” Chief Innovation Officer Jürgen Pansy said in a press release.
As with previous models, the Nuki Smart Lock 4.0 comes in two versions: a standard €169 (about $181) model that requires a separate bridge to connect to Wi-Fi and a Pro version with higher quality materials and Wi-Fi built-in for €279 (about $299). The Nuki lock is available starting Tuesday, November 14th, at Nuki’s online store and on Amazon starting November 15th. It’s only available to purchase in Europe but can be shipped to the US.
The addition of Thread support, an IP-based, mesh networking protocol specifically designed for smart home devices, brings longer battery life, increased reliability over Wi-Fi, and faster speed over Bluetooth. Batteries should last 30 percent longer compared to prior models, up to six months, Nuki CEO and co-founder Martin Pansy said in an interview with The Verge ahead of the launch. Matter will bring easier integration into smart home systems, he says, and allows for fully local control of the lock on all platforms.
Matter-over-Thread brings the option of connecting to the lock remotely without using the Wi-Fi connection via a Matter controller with Thread. At launch, this will be enabled on the Pro lock using any Apple Home or Google Home Matter controllers, with support for Amazon Alexa and Samsung SmartThings controllers coming soon. The standard lock will initially require a one-time €39 ($42) charge to enable support for remote access via Thread.
Pansy, who launched Nuki with his brother Jürgen in 2014, says they are keeping support for Wi-Fi in the locks because “Matter is not yet at the level that we can say we fully rely on it, so it’s an additional option.”
Both versions will still support direct integrations with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and platforms such as Home Assistant and Home Bridge, alongside Matter. Pansy says Nuki doesn’t require a user account to set up and install the lock, and the company also offers a local API.
This is the first Matter smart lock for European locks. The three other Matter-enabled smart locks available today are designed for US-style deadbolts: the Yale Assure SL, which also works over Thread but requires a swappable module; and the Zigbee-based SwitchBot Lock and the Aqara U100, both of which require a compatible bridge to work in Matter.
Developed by Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung, Matter is an open-sourced, IP-based connectivity software layer for smart home devices. It works over Wi-Fi, ethernet, and the low-power mesh networking protocol Thread and currently supports over 20 device types. These include lighting, plugs and switches, thermostats, locks, security and environment sensors, refrigerators, dishwashers, smoke alarms, air quality monitors, and more.
A smart home gadget with the Matter logo can be set up and used with any Matter-compatible ecosystem via a Matter controller and controlled by them simultaneously, a feature called multi-admin.
Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple Home are some of the major smart home platforms that support Matter, along with hundreds of device manufacturers.
The previous generation Nuki locks will not be upgraded to support Matter, Pansy says, due to technical limitations. No Nuki locks nor any European smart locks currently work with Apple HomeKey. Pansy says their locks aren’t currently compatible due to “not meeting the requirements.” He declined to elaborate further but said they are working on integration.
The design of the Nuki 4.0 remains identical on the outside, but Pansy says the interior electronics have been completely reworked. It still comes in black or white and has an auto-unlock feature similar to that found on August and Yale locks, which uses a combination of GPS/Wi-Fi/BLE to unlock your door as you approach. The lock can also be operated via the Nuki smartphone app using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Pansy says the locks will launch with Matter 1.1 and be upgraded to Matter 1.2 in early 2024. This will enable remote access for free on the standard version and add the new feature in Matter 1.2 specifically designed to support European door locks by distinguishing between “Open door” (including pulling the latch) and “Unlock.”
Along with the new locks, Nuki is launching a Pro version of its fingerprint keypad accessory. The Keypad 2 Pro (€349) adds a stainless steel front and an in-wall mount. Both Matter-enabled smart locks are compatible with the new Keypad. Nuki also sells a keypad without a fingerprint, a door sensor, additional rechargeable battery packs, and a key fob.
While the lock can be shipped to the US if you have a compatible door, there is currently no Nuki model that works on American-style deadbolts. Pansy says the company is exploring developing a lock for the US market.
Nuki is also involved in the new Aliro access control standard announced last week by the Connectivity Standards Alliance, the group behind Matter. “I think it’s a great initiative,” says Pansy. “Our vision has always been to get rid of physical keys and make digital keys more omnipresent. The best possible integration with mobile devices will help transport the idea of digital keys. We are looking forward to that future.”