Xiaomi releases HomeKit lock with facial recognition

Cupertino, August 20, 2021

While there is a wide selection of smart locks from both Aqara and Xiaomi, many with HomeKit compatibility these days, but that's not stopping the last company of the two from releasing yet another smart lock, this time under the name the Smart Door Lock X. What makes this lock different you might ask, to which the answer would be that the latest 'lock on the block' comes with built-in facial recognition technology. Before you get too excited though, from all the information we've seen so far, this particular aspect of the lock is not exposed to HomeKit, even though the lock itself is. That probably won't deter some, as the feature will still help unlock the door no matter what app you're primarily using.

The lock itself, which like pretty much all of Xiaomi's locks is designed for doors with mortice type mechanical parts, as opposed to the simple deadbolt design found in the US. This means that the lock is almost certainly only for Chinese customers, at least officially.

The new model features many methods to unlock the door, including the aforementioned facial recognition, fingerprint, passcode, NFC, as well as app control via Mi Home and HomeKit, and standard keys. The lock has a special chip to store facial recognition data locally, and not in the cloud. A special '20-digit virtual password' feature allows you to type in random numbers before and after your own actual code, to disguise the real code from anyone who might check the keypad entry (however unlikely it may be). Once the camera detects a face, a notification, along with a live stream or still image (depending on settings) is pushed to your phone.

Returning to the face recognition feature, the lock features an array of sensors built into the top of the lock, using them to confirm the person's identity, in what looks like similar depth-sensing technology used by FaceID on iPhones and iPads. The other sensors include an additional IR LED for poorly lit areas, an RGB camera lens, a photosensitive sensor, a proximity sensor so it knows when to start IDing a face, and a separate infrared camera.

The lock also features a full-colour mini AMOLED display that lets you see the status of the lock, among other things. For power, the lock uses a rechargeable and replaceable 6250mAh battery, which should easily last six months.

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