Products from the window and door industry rarely make their way into the mainstream. We’re just not one of those industries where our products really reach the daily lives of people.

However, on the odd occasion they do. Composite doors are perhaps the most obvious one to point out. Most home owners who walk into our showroom know what a composite door is to a fairly high level of detail. Its impressive. I doubt most home owner’s knowledge of windows or conservatory roofs is the same.

There is however a door lock making enough of a noise that its now being reviewed and mentioned in a lot of mainstream publication both in digital and print. That is Ultion’s SMART lock. It recently came top of an Esquire tech list.

No ordinary list

Esquire is global news and culture magazine that began in the US in 1933 and has international editions in all parts of the world. Its one of the heavy hitters in their field.

In their UK edition online they ran a segment detailing a whopping 121 gadgets they thought were worth spending your hard earned money on. Ultion’s SMART lock came top of the pile. You can read the full list here.

Not only has it appeared in Esquire, but The Sun has also featured Ultion’s SMART lock in their moneytest column. I appreciate people will be more impressed with Esquire’s feature than that one!

Still, this is a product borne out of the locksmith and fenestration industry, mixed with tech, that is breaking into the mainstream media and getting positive reviews. For our industry, this is a hell of an achievement. When was the last time you saw a double glazed window reviewed in high-end lifestyle publications? Exactly.

So, consider the achievement here. A door lock. A smart one. Attached to a door handle. Its not a phone. Its not a tablet. Its not a car. Its grabbed the attention of editors and is coming top of their lists and reviews. Credit where it’s due, this is remarkable.

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The right press

Whilst Ultion is getting positive coverage for it’s SMART lock, we have seen recently that media coverage of other smart door products can go the other way.

Yale’s problems with their Conexis door handle have been well documented. Last year “maintenance” problems led to some home owners being unable to use their door handles. Then earlier this year they had to email users not to update their iPhones to the latest software as it will cause their Yale app to crash. As if these two incidents were bad enough, it was picked up by one of the Editors at leading online tech site The Verge.

The crux of the matter is down to reliability and how easy it is to use the product. Yale’s first iteration of their smart handle included a manual override which was key operated. If all else failed on the handle, the home owner could still use a key to gain entry. The Conexis version dropped that altogether, a flaw which I said would come back to haunt them. And it has.

When it comes to smart door tech, there must always remain a way to bypass the electronic operation just incase everything else fails. This is what Ultion’s SMART lock does. If the home owner fails to replace the batteries, they can always use their key. There is no chance they can be left in a situation where the product keeps the home owner from getting into their own homes. Of course if they let the batteries die and they lose all their keys they are truly screwed, but you can’t blame the supplier for that one!

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