Based on a FCC filing and Schlage own install guide, the first supported Apple Home Key smart lock could be about to launch. In another first the Schlage Encode Plus smart lock will offer Thread support for HomeKit.
Update – The Schlade Encode Plus has been revealed
Apple announced Home Key at WWDC 2021 that works in the same way as a credit card in the Wallet App. This means a user can unlock a supported smart lock with Home Key saved in the Wallet App on iPhone or Apple Watch. So when a user approaches a compatible smart lock, a quick swipe over the NFC reader will open the lock.
Based on the HomeDepot listings (since removed), the Schlage Encode Plus will come in a Chrome, Nickel and a dark brown colour. Further information via the FCC filing confirms it will connect to your smart home via Wi-FI and Thread using the Silicon Labs MGM12P32F1024GA chip. The Schlage Encode Plus also supports Bluetooth, and this is used to commission the lock to the users Wi-Fi network. It will also feature a keypad along with a manual key and 4 AA batteries provide power.
Another interesting find is that the FCC filing also suggests that two models could be available. With one model featuring some sort of built in alarm.
- Link to internal photos
- to external photos
- Link to Thread and NFC descriptions
- Schlage Encode Plus manual
- Link to the Schlage Encode Plus online manual referencing Home Key
Apple Home Key and Thread support
In terms of HomeKit, the lock will pair in the normal way either by scanning the code or using NFC on compatible iPhones. However, the most interesting thing is that the Schlage install guide on the company’s own website has references to Apple Home Key support. Then to complete the picture, the FCC filing confirms a NFC chip which is a key component for Apple Home Key to work.
The Schlage Encode Plus can connect to HomeKit over Thread via a Thread Border Router such as a HomePod mini or the New Apple TV 4K. Having Thread support will offer a more stable connection and longer battery life. If this information is correct and the reference to Home Key and Thread. This could be the first smart lock to support the new Home Key feature and Thread. In terms of availability, it’s not clear when this device will ship. But the fact it’s listed on HomeDepot suggests the launch could be soon.
Once more information is discovered, this article will be updated, so don’t forget to subscribe for to be notified of the latest HomeKit News, reviews and tutorials. If you have a question or a comment, then leave it below. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.