On our latest IoT Podcast episode, we take a question that Steve left on our IoT Voicemail Hotline. Steve is transitioning his smart home platform from using Amazon Alexa to Apple HomeKit. However, his family likes the fingerprint sensor door lock in his garage and it works with Alexa. The HomeKit garage door opener Steve bought doesn’t work with that Alexa lock, so he’s looking for options that will let him either keep that door lock or replace it with a fingerprint sensor HomeKit lock.
Unfortunately, we don’t know what HomeKit garage door opener Steve purchased. And that’s important in this case because there are HomeKit garage openers that do work with other smart home platforms.
I suspect Steve didn’t purchase the Meross unit that I did, which costs around $40. Meross actually makes two models: One that works with Alexa, Google Home, and HomeKit and another that only works with the first two ecosystems. So it may be less expensive for Steve to return his current garage door opener and buy a Meross HomeKit-compatible one. He would just need to add the Meross device both to his Apple Home and Amazon Alexa mobile apps.
I did this for testing purposes and have my garage door showing in both the Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit apps. Since I don’t have an Alexa lock, I substituted a Wyze bulb that I have connected to Alexa. I set up an Alexa routine to turn the bulb on when the garage door is open in this case. I then used Siri to open the garage door over HomeKit and Alexa immediately turned my test bulb on. So an Alexa lock should be capable of automatically locking or unlocking when HomeKit is used to control the garage door.
This would be a more budget-friendly approach because smart door locks typically cost more than a $40 garage door opener. You’ll easily pay at least twice that much for a smart lock, for example. And there’s another reason we’d recommend replacing the garage door opener instead of the lock: We don’t see any HomeKit locks that have an actual fingerprint sensor.
The closest we could come up with is the $329 Level Touch lock. But as the name implies, it’s touch-capable, meaning you can tap it if your phone is nearby to unlock the door. That’s not the same as fingerprint authentication, which is what Steve and his family are looking for. Eufy does make a smart lock with a fingerprint sensor, currently priced at $169. However, it only works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, not with HomeKit.
If Steve is transitioning to HomeKit but still wants to keep a smart fingerprint lock to enter from the garage, his best bet is to use a HomeKit garage door opener that supports non-HomeKit devices too. The Meross will handle things on the HomeKit side but still talk to that Alexa-based fingerprint sensor door lock.
To hear Steve’s question, along with our full conversation on the topic, tune in to the IoT Podcast below: