Smart Keys: Are they worth the Hype?

It’s no secret that technology has advanced rapidly in the past decade. Lately it seems like you can control pretty much anything just by swiping your smartphone screen, and if you can’t, well, you can certainly call someone who can make it happen. But in this period of rapid technological transformation, one thing has remained unchanged, until now, that is: the house key.

Most carmakers have switched to key fobs (if you don’t have one, you’re missing out; if you do have one, then you know just how great they are), and hotels and office buildings switched over to the access card a long time ago. For some reason, though, the house key has been resistant (or resilient, depending on how you look at it) to this change. You’re still carrying around the same keys that your parents, grandparents, and perhaps even great-grandparents carried around (fun fact: the cylinder lock was invented by Linus Yale, Jr. in 1865).

But now that pretty much any household fixture can be rewired for digital living, it leaves one wondering what’s next for the house key and it’s close friend, the door lock.

Over the last couple of years, lock industry leaders such as Schlage and Kwikset have launched their first electronic door locks, which make it possible to enter your home using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Crazy, huh?

What does this mean for security?

Well, experts are saying that any kind of lock serves as a deterrent for the honest, but if somebody wants to break into your house, they’re going to find a way to do so (you might remember our post about key bumping). Someone who wants to enter your house will do so through open windows, an unlocked back door, or some other entry point.

The beauty of the smart locks is that they’re convenient, but they’re not going to make your home any more or less secure than a traditional lock and key system. We still think you should take other measures to secure your home.

Another new-to-the market option in the Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolt, which allows you to enter a passcode to enter your home. The really cool part? If the lock is connected to a home-automation system, it can be unlocked from any connected smartphone, tablet, or computer from miles away. So if your mother-in-law decides to “pop” in for a visit, you don’t have to come home from work to let her in. Just unlock the front door for her and take your time getting home that evening.

Locksmiths seem to have differing opinions about the smart key, and for good reason. Though its intended to make life easier, technology often complicates things. What if the Internet goes out? What if the lock malfunctions? How do you get into your home? Kwikset came up with a solution to this problem last year when they released KEVO, A Bluetooth-controlled lock that also has a cylinder for mechanical keys. Having the physical backup is comforting for most homeowners.

If you’re interested in smart keys or would like to know what we think about them, give us a call. We are always happy to offer our expert advice. We can also come out to your home and let you know how you can better secure your home.



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