I remember when keypads were introduced to the masses and I thought it couldn’t get any better than this. Imagine, being able to enter your home without a key. Lock technology has advanced in leaps and bounds over the years.
But the vulnerability of keypads, as I see it, is the ability of someone to steal your entry code and violate your protective space. Keypads that are well used can also breach access codes by exposing worn keys.
Then residential homes were introduced to key fobs. This was a fairly easy transition for homeowners because they were already used to using this technology on their vehicles.
Homeowners are always intrigued by different ways to lock and unlock their doors and being able to do it with a fob without touching their door was certainly trendy. And although they eliminated the possibility of stolen key codes, the fobs could still be lost or stolen and let’s face it, consumers were looking for something sexier. Then came the biometric lock. Biometric locks use a pre-selected fingertip or retina scan to open locks. It’s only recently that consumers have seen these locks on local hardware store shelves.
Homeowners were very intrigued by the fact they could enter their residence just by placing a fingertip over a scanner. But questions were raised about the efficacy of biometric scanners to work in extreme cold temperatures. I personally feel biometric technology isn’t quite there yet when it comes to reliability.
Near field communication (NFC) is a term you’ll be hearing a lot of in the coming years. This is the set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity.
NFC can combine a mobile phone with a door lock to create a whole new world in home security. Imagine using your mobile phone to unlock the doors in your home.
Here’s one right out of a science fiction movie:
Imagine purchasing software that would enable users to wirelessly send electronic keys to other NFC-equipped phones.
I feel this type of software will send biometrics right into the dark ages. So let me give you an example of how this technology could set the security world spinning in a new direction.
You have a housesitter looking after your home while you’re on vacation. She contacts you at your favourite vacation spot and informs you she has locked herself out of your home.
Here’s an easy solution:
Just send her an electronic key through her phone and voila — she’s back in the house. And if you have a situation where you would need to let someone in your home one time only, you could send a key that will only work once to unlock and lock the door.
The beauty of this technology is you are in total control of your home’s security, unlike a biometric lock where you have to physically be standing beside the lock to make the necessary changes.
NFC technology is advanced and with new advanced technology you have to be aware of hackers and thieves. Imagine the security has been somehow breached with a cyber-key. This could be controlled in the same way a stolen credit card would be handled. NFC would allow you to counteract the theft as if your credit card had been stolen by deactivating your mobile keys.
So when will homeowners be able to purchase this technology from their favourite hardware stores? Probably not until there are more smartphones with NFC capabilities on the market. Although this is amazing technology for residential use, it’s still early in the developmental stage.
Homeowners will have a lot to look forward to in the coming years. Lock technology will be forging ahead and producing some remarkable results.
By Frank Fourchalk
For home security locks and lock experts visit EiEiHome.com.