Electronics or digital locks are nothing new, the first electronic lock was invented in 1976. Since then the technology has come a long way. We are seeing digital locks in cars, homes, offices and almost everywhere. The science behind locks remain same, what has changed is just the ease of use and the level of security they provide.
It is important to keep in mind that digital locks can be picked as well as they are just different in technology and looks. Of course, you need a different skillset and tools to pick digital locks - details of which we might cover in our later topics.
In this article, we have decided to take a detailed look on digital locks, the different types and their application.
Digital locks are still not all that widespread but with more businesses inclined towards using electronic keypad entries and car manufacturers using keyless entries - things might change quickly. And since it is all about making things easier these days, a keyless entry into your office or house sounds enticing.
Someone stealing the traditional keys might get an entry to your house or office but even if your cellphone is stolen, the person looking to break into your house has to type in the password.
Types Of Digital Locks:
There are three main types of digital locks;
- Bike Locks
- Door locks
Digital Bike Locks:
Similar to any traditional locks, these digital locks can be used to protect your bikes -the only difference being is how they are opened. To open these locks, you don’t need a set of keys but only your cellphone and password. Again, a point to be noted here is that these locks can be shimmed pretty easily. So, security is not their main feature but the ease of use is.
Let’s admit - the idea of opening your bike lock with a few touches on your phone is kind of cool. These digital locks are connected to your cellphone through Bluetooth and are designed to be compatible for Android and iOS devices both.
One of the main reasons why we like these bike locks is the fact that it can serve as a tracking device. Equipped with GPS capabilities, some of these digital bike locks can keep an eye on the location of your bike and can track it in case it gets stolen.
Skylock and Bitlock are the two main companies pioneering the digital lock technologies in bikes. Skylock is taking the technology to a whole new level by introducing digital locks, with GPS capabilities. These locks are solar powered, saving you from all the hassle of charging them. Other than that the design of these locks are simply amazing. Locks from both these companies allow keyless entry, which means that they can be opened with a few clicks from your cellphone.
Digital Door Locks
These door locks might seem like they are from star wars but they don’t provide foolproof security. In fact some experts are of the opinion that traditional locks provide better security than these digital locks. No matter how fancy they look, they can't fully prevent force entry or hacking.
There are many types of digital door locks. We will be taking a look at some of the major ones. Some of the most common types of door locks are bluetooth, RSID and fingerprint door locks. If you’re mainly looking for a keyless entry then you should go for Bluetooth enabled smart digital locks. What makes these locks really smart is their ability to serve as digital peep holes. They re carefully fitted with tiny camera, which dds to its functionality.
These locks come equipped with WiFi along with Bluetooth. What this means is that, you can easily connect your smartphone to your lock via WiFi or Bluetooth and have remote access to the it. Some of the electronic locks also have a mechanical system as well, requiring some sort of physical key along with a password and finger scanner. Some electronic locks however, only come with a keypad. These locks might look amazing on the outside but on the inside they are easy to get into and pretty vulnerable.
Another drawback of these locks is the battery. Usually these batteries operate on a AA or AAA battery, which can easily malfunction in cold climatic conditions.
Digital padlocks are not very common and there is a good reason for that. They can be easily shimmed through Bluetooth. These locks are all-electronics, which means that they don’t have any manual tumbler pins.
The looks however are simple commendable. Since the lock size is small, they don’t have a screen but just a small LED panel. These locks just like digital door locks allows you to connect your smartphone via WiFi or bluetooth. In case you forget your password or the combination to open the lock, you can connect your smart device to the lock via USB and change your password.
Some digital padlocks offer only bluetooth connectivity. These are comparatively cheaper but less secure. If you have one of these, you might not want your phone to die because that is the only way you can open the lock.
The Bottom Line
At this point, we’re not sure if “digital” is going to be the future of locks. These locks definitely look cool on the outside but the level of security they offer is debatable. Whether to use them or not would depend upon your preference. If security is your number one concern then choosing the more traditional locks should be your bet. However, if you’re looking for ease of use and locks that can further beautify your place then digital locks must be on the top of your list.
In our opinion, digital locks are the future we are not ready for yet. There is a lot to be done and improved if digital locks are to completely take over the traditional locks.