Photon Door Lock Swaps Keys for a POST Request

At this point we’re all well aware of the fact that there is some inherent danger involved when bringing “things” onto the Internet. Nobody wants to come home to a smoldering pile of ruble because their Internet connected toaster oven decided to get stuck on “Hades.” But even with the risks, occasionally we see projects that prove at least some intrepid hackers are managing to navigate the Internet of Things to solve real-world problems.

[Daniel Andrade] writes in to tell us about the Internet controlled entry system he’s setup at his new apartment, and while we imagine it’s not for everyone, we can’t deny it seems like it has improved his quality of life. Rather than giving all of his friends a copy of his key, he’s setup a system where anyone who has the appropriate link can “buzz” themselves in through the building’s existing intercom system.

Thanks to the old-school intercom setup, the hardware for this project is simple in the extreme. All [Daniel] needed was a relay to close the circuit on the door buzzer, and a way to fire it off. For his controller he chose the Photon from Particle, which is perhaps a bit overkill, but we all tend to work with what we’re personally comfortable with.

Most of the work went into the software, as [Daniel] ended up coming with two distinct ways to control the door lock over the Internet. The first method uses Blynk, which allows you to create slick visual interfaces for mobile devices. His second version is controlled with a POST request to a specific URL, which he likes because it gives him more flexibility as to how he can interact with the lock. Currently he has a simple web page setup that lets friends and family open the door by just clicking a button.

We’ve seen a similar setup using the Photon to open a garage door, and plenty of people have taken to using Blynk to control their home automation setups. All the tools are available for you to roll your own IoT gadgets, you just need to figure out what to do with the things…

18 thoughts on “Photon Door Lock Swaps Keys for a POST Request

  1. ” Rather than giving all of his friends a copy of his key” – who does this???? One close family member, apart from my spouse, has a spare set of keys for my house. If they used them regularly I would ask them not to. Ring the bell or knock; ring me first if you want to make sure I’m in.

    1. “” Rather than giving all of his friends a copy of his key” – who does this????” I do this. We have close friends that we trust. They also have the Alarm code to disarm the security system. We know they will not use it unless we ask them to do so and it comes in handy when we are going to be away from the house for longer than expected (for the pets) or if we go out of town.

      We have considered getting an electronic locking system, but they are too insecure at the moment to be trusted.

      1. Well I’d add specific certificates for each “friend” so that it can authenticate the request.
        Also add a notification that the system has unlocked
        How is he opening his door? as well.
        You could add a timer to set off another notice if someone enters building via his system but fails to enter his apartment in x time.

    2. He explains it in the video.
      He has a lot of friends coming to visit him during the summer, and there’s an issue with the lock so that it’s difficult to unlock if you don’t know the lock.

      It will also remove the hazel of handing out keys and remembering to get them back.

      1. You are asking the wrong person, I don’t care if it’s ok. I just explained the reason for “Rather than giving all of his friends a copy of his key”.

        Try to look up objective in the dictionary.

  2. Truth be told if you lived in his building you would know nothing about it. I love how people like you want to blast negativity all over the net acting like you are so much better or smarter than others. The facts are simple. The only people who know about it are his close friends and relatives. Unless you have been in an apartment building with an intercom system to allow people in when they buzz the intercom, you have no idea how insecure those buildings are anyway. That system has been flawed for decades because it only takes a few words to get most people even if hey don’t know you to buzz you in. It’s pretty simple and I have done it quite a few times. You buzz an apartment and say you are a courier or a delivery person and boom some schmuck buzzes you in. How about instead of acting like you are so secure in your building you try to come up with a better way to get it done and stop acting like an asshole.

    1. and everyone on hackaday knows about it. like facebook, his lock is opened by friends. but do they have friends? will any of them be added for any reason ever? or the accounts of friends compromised? Your outraged defense of this system is more “assholery” than someone pointing out the blatant problems here. As someone who’s lived in buildings where “just relatives” were given copies of keys to the laundry and the building, that ended up to “everyone in the next building over” making copies of copies, so the laundry was fully engaged nearly 24/7 by non residents. He wants to pop his personal lock? that’s his problem. But removing all responsibility to some internet link that is uncontrollable? irresponsible

  3. Hey there, I am with Vlad. First of all, the code I posted on my website is just the barebone to get things started. I’ve already implemented per user access, time expiration and also telegram/slack webhooks every time someone opens the door… You know Lisbon so well, you would know that 99% of the buildings the mailboxes are inside the apartment complex and the mailman rings random apartments to open the door, along with the people that come everyday to add flyers and add to the mailboxes. Instead of all the hate, and trolling, say something positive or I’ll tell your mom you are being a bad boy!

    1. Mailmen and flyer posters aren’t likely to ring in the middle of the night, or might look suspicious if they do. A burglar with his own access might.

      Did the other residents / landlord agree to your solution? The insurance company? If an apartment *does* get burgled, and you hear about it, will you immediately tell them about your solutions?

      Vlad called Mike an asshole, you call him a Troll. How about a grown-up response to valid criticism instead of name calling? You aren’t coming across as someone I’d like messing with my apartment access, with all this deflection…

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