Schlage new smart lock first to support Apple Home Key

The Schlage Encode Plus could be the first smart lock to support the Apple Home Key.
Photo: Hit

Various documentation has led to speculation that the soon-to-be-launched Schlage Encode Plus smart lock could be the first to support the Apple Home Key. And, in the second “first”, it looks like Thread will offer standard support for HomeKit.

HomeKit Authority recently reported on Schlage Encode Plus, citing the removed Home Depot list, Schlage’s own installation guide, as well as FCC documentation.

Home Key and Wallet app

Apple first described the Home Key at WWDC 2021, saying it works similarly to adding a credit card to the Wallet app. So, using the Home Key stored in the wallet on the iPhone or Apple Watch, a person can unlock a supported smart lock just by dragging the device over the NFC reader.

HomeKit Authority said deleted HomeDepot ads show that Schlage Encode Plus comes in chrome, nickel and dark brown. FCC documentation has confirmed that the lock will connect to the smart home via Wi-Fi / Bluetooth and Thread using the Silicon Labs MGM12P32F1024GA chip. The lock will also feature a keyboard as well as a wrench and 4 AA batteries.

FCC documentation apparently also suggests that two models might be available. One of them would have a built-in alarm.

Apple Home Key and Thread support

The Schlage lock will pair with the HomeKit by either scanning the code or using NFC on compatible iPhones. However, the HomeKit Authority noted, the Schlage installation guide on the company’s website refers to Apple Home Key support.

Concluding the picture, FCC documentation confirms the presence of an NFC chip. It is a key component to the operation of the Apple Home Key.

Encode Plus connects to HomeKit via Thread using a border router, such as HomePod mini or Apple TV 4K. Thread support will allow for a more stable connection and longer battery life.

HomeKit Authority notes that there is no information on the possible delivery date for the lock. But the look of the Home Depot list for him suggests it could be available soon.

Source: HomeKit Authority

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Naveen Kumar

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