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What are smart locks really for?

It seems like startups are launching crowdfunding campaigns for new smart locks on a weekly basis. Each new smartlock startup is looking to ‘outsmart’ the previous one with some new feature or benefit.

Take for example an Indian startup called Smodo. Smodo just launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for their new smartlock, and their unique feature includes a ‘smart roller’. This is small device about the size of a smartphone connected by Bluetooth, that installs at the base of the door, that enables your door to swing open automatically when you hit the unlock button on the app. Wow, so it’s a handsfree ‘door opener’, like when you arrive at the convenience store, the doors magically open for you, and you don’t need to use your hands! I’m not sure, whether we really need this for our homes, but maybe it will catch on?

But the thing that stood out for me the most with this smart lock crowdfunding campaign, was how Smodo seemed to really go over the top in promoting a benefit that involves ‘not having to get out of bed’.

Yes, 'not having to get out of bed', seems to be their number one benefit for why you should buy their smart lock. See the image below from their crowdfunding page on Indiegogo.

And here is quote from their video on their Indiegogo page, “here is your first visitor for the day, hmm it’s the maid, oh no, don’t get up, you don’t have to get out of bed to open the door, just pick up your mobile and pass her in”.

This is wrong on so many levels. Whether or not its politically correct to use the word ‘maid’ these days is not the main issue I have here, or even if this whole notion seems disrespectful or not (I was brought up to believe you should welcome invited people in and out of your home with a greeting). The main issue I have with this, is that Smodo seems to think that you should buy a smart lock, for no other reason, so that you can be lazy. According to Smodo you should buy a smartlock so that you don’t have to get out of bed to let people in, and so that you can go back to sleep immediately if someone arrives at your door, after you let them in from your phone, and you don’t 'have' to be bothered.

This is not what are smartlocks are about.

The benefits of smart locks are so much more than allowing you to be lazy. For us, smart locks are about these benefits;

Reducing costs for companies that manage multiple buildings/sites - a company that has many employees that needs to access many different properties/sites on a regular or irregular basis, that does not have smart locks wastes so much time and money having to coordinate the management and distribution of metal keys. For example employees have to drive across town to a head office to pick up a key, then drive back across town to unlock the site/building, and then return the key again to a head office after they’ve finished. This is wasteful and costs significant employee time and money. And if the employee forgets to return the key, or loses it, then the building/site owner has to go and get a new key cut. Think about the postal last mile problem here as an another example. It costs postal companies tens of millions a year, in wasted time and money by not being able to access buildings, such as your homes, and securely deliver packages.

Tracking for safety reasons - According to Occupational Health and Safety Acts in most countries around the world, an employer is responsible for the safety of their employee. If an employer has many different places that the employee needs to access, on a daily or weekly basis, then they need to know where their employees are. So if anything happens to the employee the employer can act, help, and report on the situation for legal reasons. But tracking employees by phones is seen by many governments around the world, as an invasion of privacy, and illegal. Especially being able to track the employee when they are not at work. Smart locks can give notifications to employers of when their employees arrive and leave work sites, when they unlock the door to access the site - it’s a bit like the old punch card system used in factories. Put simply, a data record can be stored in the cloud forever, when a person arrives or leaves a site.

More secure building management - CCTV camera’s can’t be everywhere. We’re not quite in that Orwellian world yet, where every single centimeter of the public realm on the entire planet is monitored by CCTV. Smart locks can fill the gaps. If someone attempts to break in to somewhere that has a smart lock, instant notifications can be sent to property owners, who can then instantly notify police - smart locks can act like a monitored alarm system.

There are loads more other benefits that smart locks can bring to everyone everywhere too - and each industry/application has specific benefits too - such as in hotels. If you would like to learn more about the benefits to your company for getting smart locks send us an email

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