When I joined Latch as co-founder and CDO the "smart" locks in the market where either really old looking or hastily put together by start up's driven by technology gadgets. It was clear that there was an opportunity to design the right experience.
I wanted to design a product that invoke the values of giving and receiving access. Like when you give your key to someone. How do we create a the right technology experience to a ceremony that existed for thousands of years. In a product that we have little interest in. That we expect to work all the time. It became a great challenge.
By exploring the social universe around the product i imagine myself and others using it. In this case there is several types of users, the person, the guest, the manager and the architect designing the space.
What is the story that i want to convey with the design? What kind of experience do they connect with? By asking this before i draw the first line, it creates a vision of what product could be and what kind of object that could connect on an emotional level. Intuitively and authentically. Creating a true story. Connecting on a emotional level to the brand we are creating at the same time.
I then set out to create a design that is simple as possible. Universally understood, so anyone can use it. As a start up you want to find commonalties and create a single solution that works for for everyone, everywhere. Evoking an emotional connection with the users of trust, longevity and mindfulness. A design that is inviting and engaging. Latch was designed not to keep people out. To let people in.
The innovative design of the lens is merging low and high tech to create a unique module that is used in all Latch products. A touch interface is embedded in the circular lens that only wakes up when the user needs it. It remains silent and attentive until you touch the lens. The interaction feels familiar and inviting.
Latch Lens lets the user access a space in four ways. With the keypad that allows the user to share access by texting a code. The phone app that also manages the access. a NFC key card and with a traditional key. With the systems ability to share a code with anyone for the keypad. The user can let friends in. Let delivery people in to drop something off. Go for a run with nothing but the code. Designed for modern life.
Unique to Latch we incorporated a wide angle camera in the center of the lens. designed to capture all users which allows for two-way authentication of users. Inspired in part by the ominous character HAL in 2001 Space Oddessy the idea was to create a warm character with great depth and connection with the user. The lens is carefully crafted in detail to embody the feeling of a the friendly eye.
The Lens is the heart of the design and allows our start up to effectively create several products with one common part, but most importantly it creates a system where the user will recognize the same seamless interaction at all doors. It's a broader concept, a future access system where the user can freely transfer though a modern building from a space to space with one credential and one type of interaction. A seamless experience.
Our vision is Latch on every door and in every building, with that we needed a design that fits into a variety of architectural environments and as a start up only we only get to design one product... I did that by creating a silent high quality design that is universally accepted and intuitively understood.
Attention to detail in the design and use of high quality materials made sure the product is seen to have longevity, a trademark of most door locks. Great care was taken in the design of the sculpted and correctly wighted door handle as this touch point more than anything on the lock experience communicates a product narrative of trust and longevity.
Latch has deployed thousands of it’s products in the first quarters of 2017, predominantly in apartment buildings in New York, San Fransisco and Los Angeles. More to come as we expands sales in the latter part of 2017. We have raised $ 28M.
Latch designs has received multiple international design awards. IF Award, IDSA Awards and Good Design Awards in Australia.