This Door Is Smarter Than You

This Door Is Smarter Than You
The Masonite M-Pwr smart door has all the smarts, including a smart lock, doorbell camera, sensors, and LEDs. (Image: Masonite)

Why bother piecing together accessories from different manufacturers for your smart home when you could buy the whole system outright? That seems to be the idea behind the Masonite M-Pwr smart door, which comes with an integrated video doorbell and smart lock built right into the frame.

The Masonite M-Pwr smart door started as a concept a year ago, but at CES 2022, the company proved it’s a reality. The initial collaboration is a Masonite door, a Yale Assure smart lock, and a Ring Peephole Cam for video surveillance.

The fibreglass door features integrated power to run the wifi and Bluetooth-connected PIR motion sensor, sensors to establish if the door is open or closed, and motion-activated LED lighting so you and your guests can see the door. There’s even a smart hub built in, presumably to help run routines. And there’s an emergency backup battery that offers up to a full day of power, since the grid is becoming unreliable with each passing day.

Masonite recognises you can’t have the same components stuck in the door forever, so the M-Pwr will be user-serviceable. “It’s designed to make upgrades over time,” Cory Sorice, SVP and chief innovation officer of Masonite Internationa, told The Verge.

Sorice also mentioned the probability of a so-called “Google Nest door” that’s outfitted instead with the company’s smart home accessories, suggesting more component options are coming down the line. That would be a welcome alternative with not everyone wanting to go all in with Ring (especially given its reputation in the home security space), not to mention there are so many other brands competing for a spot on your front door.

The Masonite M-Pwr smart door requires professional installation, because an electrician needs to wire up all its components. Currently, the smart door is only available for model homes, and it’s debuting first in North Carolina. There’s no word yet on individual pricing, but Sorice told The Verge that renovation options should arrive in “one to two years.”

This idea of a set-it-and-forget-it smart home package might end up resonating with more consumers than the do-it-yourself route. Even if you pick up the most user-friendly smart home hub with accessories, it takes time to get everything on the network and synced together. Assuming it’s affordable — though this definitely doesn’t sound like it would be cheap — the pre-configured M-Pwr smart door sounds like a little less of a headache.

There is a flip side to all of this. If you live in an older house, before developers considered gadgets in the construction of a home, you have to consider upgrading beautiful, decades-old hardware to get online. For example, I love my original doors from the 1970s — they are gorgeous and sturdy and part of why I chose the house I live in over others. But getting a smart lock fitted with rusty hardware was my most challenging installation of a smart home gadget to date. At the same time, I couldn’t imagine swapping out those doors to make it easier to add automated locks. If only there were a way to do both.