New lock uses smartphone as key

New lock uses smartphone as key

Kwikset’s new Kevo deadbolt lock can be unlocked with a smartphone and a simple touch.

The Bluetooth-enabled door lock communicates with the smartphone via an app that essentially turns the phone into an electronic key. When the phone comes within range of the lock, the lock recognizes it and can be unlocked with a touch. You don’t even have to take the phone out of your pocket or purse. You can send “eKeys” to others with compatible phones to give them access to your home, and you can disable or delete those eKeys if necessary.

The app is currently available only for iPhone 4S and 5, but apps for Android and Blackberry phones are being developed. A fob can be used by people who don’t have a compatible device.

The Kevo deadbolt comes in Venetian bronze, satin nickel and polished brass finishes. It costs $219 and can be ordered at,, or

More information is at

Book teaches art of soap making

Soap becomes art in Anne-Marie Faiola’s book “Soap Crafting.”

Faiola teaches the basics of making cold process soap using lye, water and oil, and then offers instructions for making all sorts of colorful and fanciful soaps. There are stark black and white soaps, stained-glass soaps, soaps with decorative swirls and even soaps that look like cupcakes. Oils, colorants and fragrances are discussed, as well as additives such as herbs, oatmeal and coffee grounds.

“Soap Crafting” is published by Storey Publishing and sells for $19.95 in hardcover with a concealed wire binding that allows the pages to lie flat.

Expert advice

Do not put wax on a wooden toy to preserve it. The wax may yellow and disturb any markings or paper decoration.

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