Level Home emerges from stealth with $71M from Walmart and Lennar and a new take on the smart lock – TechCrunch

As companies like Google, Amazon and Apple hone their strategies to build the brain that helps you use the smart home of the future, where a new wave of internet-enabled appliances, climate and security systems and other connected objects can be connected and controlled through their hubs, a new smart home startup called Level Home is emerging from stealth today with a big packet of funding, a sales deal, and a hope of bringing something new to the table, by focusing on ways of rethinking old things you own already, starting with the lock on your front door.

The Level Lock, its first patented product, is a system — tested for durability, powered by a basic CR2 battery (average life: one year), equipped with ANSI GRADE 1/A security and encryption — that is fitted into the existing dead bolt on your door to make it “smart”.

Level Home says you can install the Lock yourself using a basic number-two screwdriver — “the most common tool in the American home”, says CEO and co-founder John Martin — or you can engage Level Home’s installation partner, HelloTech, to set it up.

The key thing (heh) with the Level Lock is that you door will not look any different after you install it. But linking it up with HomeKit, you can then use an Apple iPhone or Watch to unlock it (or, you can also still use the physical keys that come with the lock to open the door). Through the app, you can then also provide one-off or repeat access to others and monitor who comes and goes.

“We like to think of this as the first invisible smart lock,” Martin said in an interview. “Why would we take the things away that matter, that are a part of who you are such as the look of your home, just in the name of tech? We have to do a better job of bringing technology into your house, in a way that preserves it as your home.”

Screenshot 2019 10 15 at 09.36.52

Priced at $249 when it goes on direct sale (first in the US), the Lock is available now for preorder on Level Home’s site. But when the Lock does become generally available, you will be able to get it in more places beyond Level Home’s site, and…