Technology touches so many areas of our domestic lives. Our homes are becoming automated, and increasingly filled to the brim with intelligent appliances and accessories. When we’re away, we monitor them with smart cameras, connected alarm systems, and other sensors. We back up treasured photos, music collections, and more with personal cloud services.
Yet until now, most of us have chosen to secure our homes—and their super-smart contents—with a technology invented thousands of years ago. Times are changing, however. The old-fashioned mechanical door lock is reaching its sell-by date, and is set to be replaced … by the smart lock.
The smartphone has become a remote control for connected living. With a few swipes on a palm-sized screen, we can order a taxi and buy the latest music; check our bank balance or the sports scores; book a hotel, a train journey, or even a private jet. The latest generation of smart locks also make it both easy and secure to open and monitor the front door with your smartphone—whether you’re standing outside your home, or relaxing on a beach a thousand miles away.
Convenient security and access control is the smart-home function that interests consumers above all others: with a smart front door, homeowners no longer have to carry keys; there’s no need to get spare keys cut for a housekeeper, the kids, or a cat-sitter. With a smart lock, you can let guests in remotely via an app, send them a digital key, or provide them with a temporary PIN code to use at the door. No more worrying if your children lose their key: one swipe of your screen and you can let them in from anywhere. Have relatives arrived early and you’re not home yet? No problem. Just send them a PIN code and they don’t need to wait on your driveway. A housekeeper and delivery agent could be given a one-time access code to open your door, in the event you can’t be there to let them in today.
And with a PIN-operated lock, you’ll never get locked out again. Smart locks can also notify you whenever anyone opens or locks your door. They can be unlocked via remote control or even fingerprint, as well as a connected phone or straightforward PIN.
A recent research report (for more information, see the section below entitled “Smart-Home Security Report 2016”) found a large majority of consumers rate a smartphone or PIN at least as secure as a key when it comes to opening their homes. Between a third and half of respondents to the survey saw a smart lock as a significant security upgrade. After all, removing physical keys eliminates the risk of losing one—by accident or through theft. There’s no screen lock or authentication process on a mechanical key to provide a line of defence in the case where it goes missing.
And it’s becoming much easier to get your door connected. Smart door locks support several established and secure communication protocols, and can be quickly connected to existing smart-home and home automation systems via “plug & play” setup. Major DIY and electronic retailers—including Obi Markt in Germany, Bauhaus in Sweden, and Leroy Merlin in France—offer stand-alone smart locks for self-installation. Leading domestic service and utility companies are increasingly moving their expertise into smart door locks: Turkish security provider Pronet offers a smart door lock; German energy provider Innogy (previously known as RWE) now includes the ENTR™ Smart Lock as part of its SmartHome portfolio; and Swedish smart alarm provider Verisure also offers smart door locks.
Specialist smart-home system installers and integrators can connect locks via a Z-Wave module to existing ecosystems, such as the Samsung SmartThings platform. The options for homeowners looking to incorporate these innovative security devices into their dwellings keep expanding.
Security and convenience can be greatly enhanced thanks to this proven technology. Now there’s a growing range of smart locks that can deliver, and help consumers move smartly into connected living. While much of the buzz around home automation surrounds Silicon Valley start-ups and various California tech giants, it’s ASSA ABLOY—with multiple trusted locking brands, including Yale, Mul-T-Lock, TESA, KESO, Vachette, NEMEF and FAB—that has the biggest range of residential smart locks on the market.
Video: Enhanced security and convenience with the ENTR lock.
But ASSA ABLOY has not stopped there. Understandably, homeowners contemplating the use of smart lock technology have high expectations that their choice of solution operate seamlessly with technologies they may already have. Toward that goal, Yale has been collaborating with Alphabet’s Nest unit to bring the new Yale Linus smart lock to market in early 2017. Through the Works with Nest program, Linus will enable homeowners to use the Nest app on their smartphones to lock and unlock their door, grant guests their own passcodes, and see who comes and goes. Look for a full smart-home integration test on this highly-evolved system in Digitized.House Magazine later in 2016.
Smart-Home Security Report 2016
Prepared by the security consultancy IFSEC Global and sponsored by ASSA ABLOY, “Smart-Home Security Report 2016” is available as a complimentary download in convenient PDF format. Authored by IFSEC Global editor Adam Bannister, the report presents a comprehensive view of smart door locks through the collective polling of hundreds of would-be adopters in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Get your copy of the report here.
ASSA ABLOY is the global leader in door opening solutions, dedicated to satisfying end-user needs for security, safety, and convenience. Since its formation in 1994, ASSA ABLOY has grown from a regional company into an international group with about 46,000 employees, operations in more than 70 countries and sales close to SEK 68 billion. In the fast-growing electromechanical security segment, the Group has a leading position in areas such as access control, identification technology, entrance automation, and hotel security.