If you book a vacation to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, you’ll receive a special package in the mail a few weeks before your scheduled arrival. Inside this package is arguably the most important thing you’ll need to make the most out of your vacation (aside from a boarding pass if you’re traveling by air, of course) – and that’s the MagicBand.
These MagicBands are essential to easily experiencing Disney. An integrated RFID chip and several sensors allow you to use your band for everything – from unlocking your hotel room door to accessing rides you’ve secured Fast Pass admission for. Heck, the sensors even tell restaurants when you’re in the area so that they can personally greet you and escort you to your table faster. And being that the MagicBand merely secures to your wrist like a bracelet, it’s as convenient as it is essential.
Disney World might be in front of the pack when it comes to this wearable technology designed to perform multiple tasks since deploying this new system in 2015, but one way in which we’re starting to see increased uses pertaining to this type of technology is in wearables to lock and unlock doors. Forget your keys, soon the only thing necessary to unlock a door to your home, car or office might simply be a special ring, bracelet or necklace.
Benefits of Wearable Devices
The big benefit of wearable locking devices is the convenience factor. Instead of keys, consumers are picking up rings, wrist bands, watches and necklaces. Instead of fumbling through pockets and purses, users only need to scan their respective wearable device against the lock. Some technologies may even unlock and lock doors automatically based on the distance a user – and their wearable – is from the door in question.
Have Everything at Your Fingertips
Another big benefit to wearables is that the technology extends the capabilities of a person. In other words, wearables can be used for more than just locking and unlocking doors. Just like Disney’s use of MagicBands we mentioned above, wearables can be designed to be multi-functional. They might be able to tell time, track fitness output, make phone calls, take pictures, display messages and control music. The potential for wearable technology is truly endless, and there’s reason to believe we’re only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this.
Carry Less with You
What’s more is that any “smart” locking system minus keys means more free space in your pockets or purse, no scuff marks on your pants and less of a chance that you’ll encounter a frozen door lock in the winter or will risk breaking a key off inside a stuck door.
While wearables are still an evolving technology, there’s no question that they’re the next big thing when it comes to serving a variety of functions, including locking and unlocking. For instance, according to a report in The Huffington Post, more than 80 percent of wearable technology users in the U.S. today said that the devices have a positive impact on their lives. Furthermore, 83 percent of experts in high-tech fields believe that wearables will play a significant role in the everyday lives of most by the year 2025. And as the technology advances, these wearables are only likely to become more affordable, which can also make them more a mainstream thing.
How They Work
Use of NFC
Most door locks that integrate with wearables today incorporate NFC, or near field communication, technology. NFC technology enables two electronic devices to essentially communicate with one another. In the context of door locks, one of these NFC checkpoints is in the door lock itself, while the other is embedded into a ring or wristband. A quick scan in the vicinity of the lock should grant instant access.
Foolproof Codes Available
Forget to wear the ring, wristband, etc.? No worries, as most locks also enable users a way to enter a code to grant access. So not only do wearable locking devices speed entry and exit from homes and offices, but they’re also foolproof to a certain extent, as users have a “backup” way to gain entry in case they forget to don their wearable (think of it as the new age way of forgetting your keys).
Mobile or Computer Access
Other locks allow users to control and access it from a computer or mobile app, offering another way to prevent themselves from being locked out.
Wearable locking technology as it stands today may not yet be up to par with the functionality of what MagicBands offer, but all the signs seem to point to them getting there sooner rather than later. For now, however, wearable locking technology is proving to be a convenient way for home and business owners to access their respective places of living or work. And as the technology continues to evolve, this wearable technology is only going to become more and more popular among consumers.