4 Reasons Why Smart Locks Are Not Replacing the Original Locksmith and Key
In 1999 everyone was worried about their computer systems crashing, leading to the end of the world, as we know it. Of course, we know that didn’t occur (case and point, I’m coming to you from a computer right now), and we survived the ball drop. With the survival of our technology, came the accelerated boom for newer and better. Apple cropped up in homes, backpacks, hands, ears, cars—pretty much everywhere. The Internet was no longer using dial-up and cellphones were found in the hands of every pre-teen in the market.
Yale “Go Key-less” Lock
It was only a matter of time, then, until our homes were simplified. These days, items like the Nest are for sale and allow you to control your home’s lights, temperatures, and alarm system from remote places. Included in many of these packages is the “smart-lock”. Smart locks, like the Yale “Go Key-less” Lock, allow you to manage your locks from a remote location. It seems great in theory, especially for those times when you’re on the freeway and you can’t quite remember whether or not you locked the door, you just jump into your app and lock it from the car. It’s a method of added convenience, providing consumers with the finest in lock luxury.
Or does it? Is the smart lock really as consumer friendly as it may seem? Or is it just a way to make your life, and the life of those around you, increasingly difficult?
The smart locks operate on a password basis. Typically four digits or letters, the smart lock requires that a person input the code before the door is unlocked. In short, the password serves as your key into the home of choice. Though it may seem great and it is a nice idea to not worry about keys floating around, it actually has its faults. Like debit-machines, burglars and thieves have means to collect password data. Particularly with four-digit codes, special lighting, dusting, and stick-residue can easily reveal the four-digit passcode that you’ve been entering. This allows potential burglars access to your home, rather than deterring them. In contrast, keys offer security and cannot be accessed via finger dusting or infrared lighting, ensuring that a potential thief will spend more time at the door—and more time possibly getting caught.
Unfortunately, even with the boom in technology, the infinite battery has yet to be introduced to the masses. That being said, smart locks still run on the same run-of-the-mill battery that everything else does, and therefore will eventually run low and die. This poses a problem to homeowners using the technology that find themselves suddenly locked out because the smart lock won’t turn on. Likewise, as the batter runs down, the touch screen function begins to disappear. Where you once were able to push in the four-digit passcode with no problem, you’re smart lock will now struggle to read your fingerprint. This poses a problem for potential smart lock owners, who can become locked out of their home, requiring forced entry.
Say you’re heading out of town, and instead of giving the petsitter or cleaning team a key, you give them a password instead. You think so far so good. Not so fast, though. Unless your cleaning team and petsitter have had the foresight to write down their code, they may forget it, keeping them from entering your home. Though it might be easy for you to remember, consider the list of people that other people are working for, causing them to completely forget that your home no longer used a key. A lock and key, also keeps the problem of getting locked out because of a faulty password set up, or even a battery life issue at bay.
Three Strikes and You’re Out
Image from Food Safety News
Smart locks are smart. Unsurprisingly then it knows when someone is trying to get in that shouldn’t be. Smart locks have the ability to shut down when a password doesn’t go through for a number of times. Sounds great, right? But what happens when the battery is low and it keeps misreading your touch and signaling numbers that you’re not pressing to go through? Many people have found themselves locked out because their password was being read incorrectly, leaving them stranded before their door. Yet, if something happens to your lock and key, a locksmith is able to switch out the lock and install a new one, providing you with a decreased likelihood of the issue every rising again.
Are locks and keys the only secure solution? Maybe not. However, the original lock and key do serve as a low stress problem solver. Because smart locks have a handful of kinks and issues to work out of their system, it’s comfortable to assume that they won’t be replacing the original lock and key any time soon.