Here at Great Valley Lockshop, we love sharing the newest developments in our industry. It seems that every day smartphones are capable of doing something new, from reading your fingerprints to paying your restaurant bill. Now, they can even unlock and open doors for you – and door lock smartphone systems are rapidly becoming the future of commercial entry and access.
Doors and door locks have been around for thousands of years, and the ways to open them have varied quite a bit. Because keys can be lost, duplicated, or stolen, there are a number of options for keyless entry that are currently in use. Right now, keyless entry solutions include electronic keypads and keycard systems, both of which are difficult to bypass, can be easily adjusted in case of a security threat, and can be customized on a person-to-person basis. However, neither of these work quite like a smartphone door lock does.
Smartphone Door Locks
Smartphone locks, already growing in the residential market, involve a special app that’s been downloaded onto a mobile device such as phone or tablet. When someone wants to access and areas, these systems are capable of using mobile devices to wirelessly connect with a reader that then unlocks the door. Some brands may use a building’s existing Wi-Fi network, while others rely on Bluetooth or another technology entirely. Specific techniques and technologies vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Some locks utilize special features that can increase security beyond the simple lock. For example, a few brands include cameras that can photograph whoever opens the door, allowing for better responses to unwanted access. Other systems can be locked and unlocked remotely by whoever has the authority to open the door, allowing the person in charge to open the door over the internet.
One of the biggest advantages of any keyless entry system is the ability to customize who can get through the door and when. Because each employee has a unique access code, card, or device, employers can customize who has entry rights to which door. They can even adjust when each person is allowed to go through, so that employees can’t access restricted areas at inconvenient times or enter a building after hours. And if the company needs to deny access for some reason, then it’s a simple adjustment to block the device. Businesses no longer need to worry that disgruntled employees have made duplicate keys, or that a lost or stolen set of keys might turn up again later with disastrous results. If a mobile device is taken or misplaced, employers simply have to adjust the smartphone lock system to ensure that they maintain a secure facility.
Another advantage of keyless entry and smartphone systems are that they can keep an accurate log of who has used the door. In case something goes wrong and the company needs to know who was in a room at a certain time, the log system can help record who has entered and at what time. This record can help increase security and keep company assets safe.
What sets smartphone locks apart most from other keyless entry systems, though, is the convenience. A door lock controlled by smartphone doesn’t require authorized employees to locate a keycard or remember an access code—they simply have to wave their phone in front of the door, and they can pass through with minimal effort.
Some worry that as door locks go digital, they might become more vulnerable to hacking and computer-based attacks. However, manufacturers are taking special steps to guard against this. The standard across most door lock smartphone systems is 128-bit AES encryption, meaning that each signal sent from a phone to a door (or vice versa) is protected with the same level of encryption used by financial institutions for banking transactions and the United States government for basic classified information. Some manufacturers reinforce that with even higher, military grade encryption, or multiple levels of encryption to ensure that doors are as secure as possible. These locks might pose a challenge to the most sophisticated hackers, and are more than enough to keep out most petty criminals.
Where might these locks be used? Although there is a growing residential market for smartphone door lock systems, there are significant applications for commercial and public facilities. For example, industrial complexes can use these systems in areas that are highly secure or potentially dangerous, so that employees and visitors can stay safe. Offices that are concerned about potential security breaches can also use these systems. Specialized industries such as retail might require keyless locks to help protect inventory and guard against theft, while hotels need large numbers of easily adjustable privacy locks. Some government facilities, hospitals, and schools might desire convenient locks to help protect the public. Other public facilities that have large numbers of people passing by restricted areas can also benefit from secure keyless entry systems, such as:
- Convention centers
- Train stations
- Event venues
Of course, there are always potential drawbacks to new technologies, and these door lock smartphone systems are no exception. One of these issues is that some systems are not compatible with all phone operating systems, and it can mater a great deal whether employees have iOS or Android. This will probably be adjusted as the technology grows more popular and manufacturers broaden their compatibility. Also, if a company doesn’t issue smartphones to its employees, then they might not own one and could have trouble accessing areas they need. Finally, one of the curses of modern life is battery drain on smartphones—if an employee lets their phone die, than they’re locked out of the doors they need. In order to compensate for this, many manufacturers offer backup systems.
With their convenience, security, and high-tech integration, smartphone locks are the future of commercial entry. Here at Great Valley Lockshop, we’re always interested in keeping our customers as safe as possible, which is why we follow the latest developments in our field. If you’d like help keeping your business secure with modern locks and access systems, then contact us today at (610) 644-5334 or send an email to [email protected]. We can help answer your questions and assist you with your security needs.