It's OK; Soon We Won’t Need Keys!
Geeky Posted on February 10th 2016 By Andy Calloway

It's OK; Soon We Won’t Need Keys!

I'll make a bet that when you go home tonight, you'll be scrambling around looking for your keys. When you find them, you'll insert a standard "Yale" type key into the door, open it and walk in.

It's a scenario played out by millions of people every day of the year, and yet I reckon that within five years we won't need keys at all, and we'll wonder why we ever bothered.

The reason? Keyless entry.

Now, this had been around for decades. There have been many ways to enter buildings that don't require standard keys for an eternity. My local club doesn't use a key; we use a fob that we pop against a pad on the door and in we go. It's the same for the car park, nothing manual here, it's all proximity-triggered 21st Century technology.

So why do we still access our homes using technology invented in the 1800s?

Well, it's about to change.

We nearly all have mobile phones, and unless you've been living under a rock for the last few years, you'll have noticed that they can now do some pretty awesome things. Such as control technology.

You can set your Sky+ box to record a show, control a drone or trigger a camera, and there are plenty other things you can do, too. So it makes sense that they can also be used to open doors.

Of course, invention doesn't happen behind shed doors anymore, and it's not in a secret department of some huge multi-national company, no, it's out there in the open on sites like Kickstarter. And this is no exception.

Take the Sesame, a new device that wants to replace your keys with your mobile phone.

It doesn't even want you to change your existing lock. It just sits on top of it and, well, it just works.

An app running on your mobile phone can be used to open the door. You simply click, and it lets you in by transmitting over a secure Bluetooth connection. But it doesn't end there. You can also get it to respond to a particular knock, so you don't even have to get the phone out of your pocket.

Want to let friends in? Fine, they download the app, and you give them an account, dead easy.

Also, if you get an optional wi-fi unit, you can control your lock over the Internet.

This all sounds very hi-tech, unique and niche doesn't it? Surely it's the sort of gadgetry that only the geekiest home owner would consider? Well maybe not, because a quick search finds lots of people jumping on the bandwagon.

Take your pick from:

Haven

Lockitron

Nuki

And there appear to be more in the pipeline, although most of them are from start-up companies, it seems the big boys like Yale haven't caught up yet.

Is Security Compromised?

This has to be a concern, but we're told that because they use military grade encryption, it's nothing to worry about and, on the face of it, this could indeed be true.

For example, where did you last leave your keys when at work? Do you sometimes leave them in the car? When you are going out and want someone to let themselves in, do you store a key under a rock in the garden?

That flat bit of metal can be a liability. Easy to pick up, copy, steal and if they are taken or lost, you have to replace the door lock in its entirety. Nightmare. And what if it breaks? (yep, happened to me.)

In the case of a smart lock (and it seems they all share this feature), if your phone is stolen, just log on and disable it. Or even use two-factor entry, with the phone being the key, but a knock on the door actually activating the lock.

Whichever way you look at it, the smart home is here to stay, and it won't be long before these types of locks are the standard for home security.

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