The pins inside the locking mechanism prevented the wooden bolt securing the door from being moved. If the correct key was used, it would push the pins up allowing the bolt to be unlocked.
Sound familiar? That’s because locks have changed relatively little over the many years they’ve been in use. Of course, they’ve been upgraded and diversified and we don’t use wood anymore, but the basic idea is the same.
Until now that it is. Smart technology is being introduced into practically every device we use. In the home of the future, every device is connected to the Internet and to every other device in the home through a network known as the Internet of Things or IoT. From thermostats to refrigerators to light bulbs, that technology is already being integrated into our lives.
Locks are not exempted from this trend. They’re currently undergoing one of the few major changes in their history – going from purely mechanical to electronic and gaining the ability to connect to the Internet. Locks with this new technology can do a lot more than non-connected locks can and offer homeowners capabilities and conveniences that traditional locks never could. They also come with potential security risks that have some people worried.
Smart locks are still developing and are gradually becoming more common. They can include a variety of different features, but there are a few characteristics that apply across the board and help define them as smart locks.
Smart locks, while they come in many different forms, are electronic locking mechanisms that are often connected to the Internet in the style of IoT.
Different smart locks are opened in different ways. Some work with a smartphone and connect to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or both. With a Bluetooth lock, you can walk up to your door with your smartphone, and it will recognize your device and let you in. With Wi-Fi connected devices, you can unlock your door remotely from your phone.
Other smart locks use radio frequency identification, also known as RFID. A RFID device requires you to carry a key fob. Your lock detects the key fob when you get close and automatically unlocks. Locks that use RFID may or may not be smart – as in connected to the Internet.