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What Are Smart Locks, and How Do They Work?

by May Fitzgerald

It started with the phones. Before we all knew it, everything was getting smarter. Houses, refrigerators, and even toilets have all gotten the “smart” moniker, further blending the line between appliances and electronics.

These products have continued to expand and become closer and closer to something out of a sci-fi novel. It can be easy to get lost in what is what, what everything does, and how to connect this thing to that thing and then connect both of them to the Wi-Fi to make it all work together. We get it. That’s what we’re here for. We gotcha, pal.

So, let’s open the door on smart locks. If you’ve already upgraded to a smart house and have various other parts of your home ecosystem working together, shouldn’t you expand that out to your locks and safety mechanisms? Yup. That’s some -- wait for it -- smart thinking right there. OK, time to unlock the mystery that is smart locks with some keys of knowledge. Let’s go.

What are smart locks?

All locks need a key, right? Well, for smart locks, you don’t have a physical key – instead, you have an electronic one. This can be one of a few different things – it could be an app on your smart phone, or it could be a key fob that you use, instead. The lock and the electronic “key” communicate, and – Presto! – your door opens.

Of course, your door already has locks on it (hopefully? Please say yes, or else that’s a whole other topic we should talk about ASAP), so what does that mean for smart locks?

Well, it depends on the lock. Some smart locks can actually work with your old locks, and others replace them all together. If you have a sentimental attachment to your old lock -- for whatever reason -- you can get one that just fits over it instead of replacing it outright. We won’t judge.

What do smart locks do?

OK, now that you know what a smart lock is, let’s look at what different types of smart locks can do for you and your family and how they can make your life much, much easier.

Some smart locks don’t even require you to take out your phone – they’ll unlock as soon as you walk close to it with a phone that has the right digital key. Some offer keypads. Others have cameras. Pretty smart stuff, eh?

You also can use smart locks to lock and unlock your door from anywhere you are. That’s right, anywhere.

Need to let Robbie in because he lost his keys AGAIN when he was out doing kick flips on his silly skateboard even though he was GROUNDED? ROBBIE, YOU WERE GROUNDED! Sure, pull out the app and let him in. Pizza delivery person beat you home? Well, maybe you don’t want to let a stranger into your home, but you COULD do it if you wanted too. That’s what technology is all about anyways: Being able to do something IF you want to.

Of course, smart locks are just the entry point to your smart home. Smart locks can also be integrated to work with your larger smart home system – and they should be if you want to get the best out of all your smart tech. So, give us a call today to see how you can further implement smart locks into your smart home services and bring a sense of technological safety – and security -- home.