Mechanical locks. They have been the absolute way to open any door in this country for century after century. From the humble home to some of the most secure and ancient buildings, traditional locks and keys have kept what’s inside protected. But the rapid technological advancements in pretty much all areas has meant a whole new raft of door technology has sprung up on the market.
From old to new, the three example above demonstrate the new technology now breaking into the entrance door market.
Yale’s Keyfree door handle is probably the most known and widely available digital door handle, where most installers will find at least one of their suppliers stocking it. We ourselves have been selling it for around three years. It took a little while for customer to get used to the idea of locking and unlocking a door without a key, but it seems people may now be getting used to the idea of new way to gain entry to their home.
Whilst digital door handles are rather slowly making a name for themselves in the industry, the focus still remains heavily on standard handles and high security cylinders. In fact it seems that every month there seems to be half a dozen new types of high security cylinder released into the market. I believe that there is room for both products in the market going forward. With tens of millions of homes across the UK still harboring insecure door cylinders, there will still be a massive retro-fit sector for high security cylinders. But the new door market is where products like digital door handles stand the best chance of gaining real traction.
Progress generally tends to be good. But with technology like this, it is important that it is reliable. It is after all the main way people are going to get in and out of their homes. It has to work every time. The Yale Keyfree door handle for example was in development for years in Asia before the technology was brought over to the UK. In all the Keyfree handles we have sold I can honestly say that there has been only one handle we had an issue with, which was resolved in 24 hours. Other than that, perfect.
I can’t say anything for the ERA digital door handle or the Yale Digital lock, but I am sure they both have good performance records too.
Technology is a funny thing in a way. Some tech moves along at serious pace, like phones and tablets for example, yet other areas such batteries and in this case door locking hardware, has moved along at a much more leisurely speed. We can put that down to desirability and demand. However going forward I do believe that more and more doors across the country are going to have some form of new, digital locking that will do away with the traditional methods. They will have to be high security, reliable, affordable and look the part too. But I think these are all things which are achievable.
Moving forward beyond the example I have given, we are now seeing things like fingerprint operated door locks, BlueTooth controlled mechanisms and other similar new bits and bats driving forward the new age of door locking technology. And quite frankly, I’m all for it!
Not convinced on the ERA iLock’s fingerprint security. As was prooved with the new iphone recently basic fingerprint technology can be quickly fooled but unlike the iphone it would lead to your insurance company not paying up as it would look like you didn’t lock the door.
Have you tried out the ERA lock? Is it any good? I think until fingerprint security is 100% safe I think there will be limitations like you have pointed out. But once it has been perfected I still think it is a great way to lock and unlock an entrance door.
Thanks for your comment Michael.
We actually installed one of these (won’t say which one) in our showroom last year…and have since removed it. It was a nightmare to install to the point we had to get the supplier to come and do it (and took them quite a bit of fiddling around as well) and it never really worked properly to the point that we removed it a couple of months ago. The lock was sold to us as that it could be retrospectively fitted to almost any door which I don’t think is the case (at least not in our experience) and we… Read more »
Hi Sharon, would love to know which one you are in about ;-) We have been fitting the Yale Keyfree for a few years and always found it to be reliable. Like I mentioned in the post we only had one which went wrong on us but that was resolved after just one day. We find the Yale is easy to use use too, whether young or old, yes it takes a bit of time to get used to but only because people have been used to locking and unlocking their doors with a manual key for all their lives.… Read more »
No never used one. Fingerprint tech will never be secure (that has been proven by security experts). Pin numbers can be guessed with a little knowledge of the person and RFID tags can be hacked… and yes I know cylinders can be bypassed too, but until this new tech can be proven 100% secure I won’t be looking into it too much. They will apeal to the novice gadget geeks but anyone with a bit of tech knowledge will see through the gimmicks.
I think personally that not a lot of people can afford something as expensive as these types of locks,sometimes the basic principles are the best and I think that some basics have been forgotten about,I read in a trade magazine a while ago that one lock manufacturer said in the next 10 years most households will have these locking systems,that remains to be seen,especially if we’re still in a recession.