Most of us prefer using an old-school, mechanical key to access our homes or whatever we choose to keep under safe confinement.
Smart locks are a relatively new concept and only hit the market in recent years. The advancements in technology should make life easier, but switching to any new system means that you happily accept its benefits but also have to live with the inconveniences it presents, too.
The future of locking your home?
There are plenty of distinct advantages of using a smart lock for your home.
For people who are looking for a smart way to monitor whether they did remember to lock up their front door or not, intelligent latches are an easy sell. They can be paired with smartphones that most people have access to and can even be programmed to identify specific people and let them enter without you having to leave your seat.
Some smart locks have keypads that remember pre-set security codes in case your phone runs out of battery, and you still need to access your house.
However, whenever such a smart lock malfunctions, you might re-consider your choice of ditching a mechanical key.
When smart locks malfunction
A massive power outage happened in New York City during the previous year in some neighborhoods around the Times Square area.
“Frankly, most of the young tenants who only use their smartphones were standing on the streets because the (smart key) system was down and (they) didn’t carry mechanical keys to access the back stairwell,” a resident said.
Power outages concern many people who are faced with the choice of installing a smart lock, especially elderly citizens.
“We were concerned that if you lose power, the smart lock won’t work. It would either lock closed or lock open,” an elderly citizen said.
There are some other less fortunate situations – Imagine that you forgot to teach a house guest or even a babysitter how to open your door, which looks less like an actual doorknob and more like a safe handle.
Unlike mechanical door locks, most smart locks require software updates and/or battery replacements.
A fun aspect is that, even though a particular style of door lock/handle might look dated, it will never face technological obsolescence as a smart door lock will.
Users of smart doorknobs are at the mercy of their devices: If your phone’s battery dies, you might be locked out for good, perhaps from everything.
Technical malfunctions aside, smart locks are a target for hackers, like most other categories of tech products.
Also, the cost of installing a smart lock is often significantly higher than the cost of installing a traditional door lock.
One of the most frequent concerns for homeowners is the appearance of smart locks that often lack the curb appeal. Mechanical locks usually fade into the background since they are such a mundane item that has been around for thousands of years.
Most of the time, smart locks are chromed-out boxes or bulbs that are placed inches away from the door, looking like some kind of calculator hooked up to your house’s entrance. Unfortunately, good-looking, smart locks tend to be extremely pricey when compared to a humble, traditional, mechanical lock.
Would you still consider buying a smart lock after learning about all the disadvantages it brings?