For centuries, people have been using metal locks and keys to secure their homes. However, we could be about to enter a new era of home security. By using wireless technology to connect with a smartphone app, smart locks are now able to unlock doors for people who live in a home, while keeping out unwanted intruders. It's a clever concept, but how well does the technology actually work?
How Smart Locks Work in Theory
Here are some of the main selling points of smart locks:
Welcome Home. Smart locks use Bluetooth, a form of near-field communication, to detect when your phone is approaching and to unlock the door to greet you. That means no more fiddling with bulky keys.
Remote Locking and Unlocking. Smart locks connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi, which means you can lock and unlock your home from anywhere in the world using a smartphone app. This is a useful feature when you need to let guests or tradespeople into your home but can't be there yourself to open the door.
Temporary Passes. If you want your house guests to be able to come and go as they please, you can issue them temporary passes that last for the duration of their stay. The smart lock will allow your guests into the home whenever it detects their phones approaching, but only until the pass expiry date.
Peace of Mind. Use your smart lock app to check the status of your lock at any time, putting an end to those nagging doubts about whether you remembered to lock the door when you left home this morning.
How Smart Locks Work in Practice
Are smart locks the future of home security? Possibly, but probably not yet. Some reviewers have found serious security flaws in the way smart locks work. For example, just last year a review in Gizmodo Australia revealed that the August Smart Lock incorrectly identifies doors as locked when they are actually open to anyone to enter. That's definitely not what you want from a technology that you rely on to keep your home secure.
Smart locks may well be useful one day, but any locksmith will tell you that it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your home security. While smart lock manufacturers work on ironing out the teething troubles with this new technology, keep your home safe by using a traditional deadbolt lock to keep intruders out.