Imagine a battery-powered smart lock that doesn’t need to recharge every few months. Well, that’s the idea behind Alfred’s ML2 smart lock. Made in collaboration with Wi-Charge, the Alfred ML2 is the first smart lock to support long-range wireless charging.
We first saw the Alfred ML2 at CES 2020, where we assumed that it was more of a concept than a real product. It just sounds like magic—you just install a Wi-Charge module within 30 feet of the Alfred ML2, and you never need to worry about batteries again.
Now, I doubt that the average person will experience this technology anytime soon. The Alfred ML2 starts at $899, and since it’s a mortise lock, it will only fit in commercial buildings (and some very fancy homes). Oh, and the Wi-Charge module costs extra, with pricing that will vary depending on the customer.
Installation also seems like a big factor here. As outlined by Alfred, the ML2 installation process is pretty in-depth, with lots of small parts and wires. And based on early examples of this technology, customers will probably want to install the Wi-Charge module in their ceiling, which may require professional help.
And that’s a lot of work for an otherwise straightforward smart lock. The Alfred ML2 has a touchscreen keypad, works with RFID cards, supports Bluetooth, and can send notifications to smartphones. You can get most of these features (minus the RFID card thing) with a relatively inexpensive smart lock.
Until we can test Wi-Charge technology, we can’t guarantee its effectiveness. But Alfred’s decision to make the ML2 a mortise smart lock is a sign of confidence—mortise locks are hard to turn, so the ML2 uses significantly more power than your average smart lock.
The Alfred ML2 is available today, but you need to inquire with Alfred to purchase one. Alfred’s head of product and integrations, Brad Cook, tells The Verge that a deadbolt version of the ML2 will arrive sometime in 2023.
Alfred ML2 Smart Lock
Alfred ML2 is the first smart lock to support long-range wireless charging. It’s primarily intended for businesses, as it only fits mortise locks.
Source: Alfred and Wi-Charge, The Verge