Smart locks, the key revolution of the smart home

by bold-lichterman

Opening a door without a key is now possible. For two years, the smart home sector has been in turmoil with the appearance of “smart locks”. Smart locks can thus be unlocked remotely through an application installed on your smartphone. Depending on the systems designed by the developers, it is possible to open a door in several ways. However, to frame this emerging technology, connected locks, as a whole, meet Bluetooth Smart security standards (which brings together products that emit small amounts of data and that consume very little energy).

The gradual arrival of “smart locks” on the smart home market is changing the situation on several levels. First of all, smart locks provide increased security for homeowners. Indeed, the encryption of the connected lock offers an additional guarantee compared to a conventional lock, which grants more technical possibilities to burglars.

Conversely, hackers risk turning to this new playground to crack down. In 2015, cybercrime increased by 51% in France, according to a study carried out by Wooxo. Last year, cybersecurity incidents cost French companies a whopping 3.36 billion euros, according to investigation Global Economic Crime Survey 2016 conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers. Still according to the organization, they experience an average of 21 cybersecurity incidents each day.

La Poste, Sony …

However, as in all Internet of Things market segments, electronic lock technology is growing and diversifying. Thus, some start-ups, like The Keys, founded by two French people in 2014, transform a classic lock with European standards into a smart lock. Adding a handle connected to the standard cylinder is then sufficient to install this new technology. In this way, the handle can be controlled from a mobile application to control access management. Thus, when a person authorized on the application approaches the lock, they receive a notification on their smartphone to open it with a simple digital pressure.

Other players in this booming market are competing in their imaginations to offer an optimal and secure locking solution. La Poste thus offers an alarm integrated into the lock while Candy House allows for its unlocking according to the manner of knocking on the door. Sony goes even further with its Qrio Smart Lock, which offers the possibility of sharing access to your home with those around you via encrypted electronic keys that can be transmitted to Facebook or WhatsApp.

To afford such technology, the price range is very variable. The most affordable connected locks are available from 60 euros, like The Keys, while the most financially greedy can be unlocked beyond 200 euros, like the electronic locks offered by Okidokeys.

August, the start-up of the moment

Essentially present in North America for several years, electronic locks could quickly become popular. In the United States, Lockitron, a start-up based in San Francisco, is a pioneer in this area. However, the manufacturer August is now the most fashionable in Uncle Sam’s country. The design of its connected objects, signed by Yves Béhar, co-founder of the company, has enabled it to acquire resounding success. With 43 million euros raised since its creation in 2012, the Californian start-up has acquired a significant reputation in the smart lock market. Last November, August thus managed to tie a partnership with Airbnb.

By crossing the Atlantic, the first beneficiaries of connected locks should logically be hotel groups and community platforms for the rental of private housing. Ultimately, customers will no longer have to go through reception. Indeed, they could receive their key directly by SMS or via a mobile application. Thus, Onefinestay, a high-end housing rental network, already believes in the potential of “smart locks” by offering its customers the lock. Sherlock for their stays in guesthouses.