Assa Abloy Joining Smart Technology Fray

The largest producer o0f locks in the world, Assa Abloy, is turning its focus to the largest emerging market for locksmiths and lock makers. This emerging market is the production of smart technology enabled phones. The Sweden based company has already been beaten to the punch by numerous smaller American companies, but is still looking to use it clout as the largest lock maker in the world, to force their way into the smart lock market. Smart locks look to give home and business owners the utmost in convenience. Not only can customers easily access their locks directly from their phones, but sending time specific access to other individuals who have smartphones is as easy as pushing a button.

Why look to smart locks now?

There are many reasons that getting into the smart lock industry is a wise move for all established lock companies, however those companies which have selected to just begin development now are already behind schedule. The August Smart Lock has already begun to be shipped to those customers which pre-ordered the product and Lockitron is looking to do so in the near future. Specifically August will be available to the residential market by October of this year, making it one of the first mass produced smart locks to hit the market. This release should be buoyed by the fact that August now has a deal with Apple that will allow for the most easy access possible from iPhones.

This quick action by smaller start-up companies should not scare a lock manufacturing behemoth like Assa Abloy. Due to their large scale distribution and development capabilities it would not be a shock that Assa Abloy were able to quickly develop and send to market a smart lock which rivals the functions of August and Lockitron. Assa Abloy would be smart to capitalize on this as soon as possible now that smart locks are projected to be a 3.6 billion dollar industry within the next five years this would be a sharp increase of the current number of 261 million dollars. Assa Abloy have gone on the record to say that they know this is likely a technology that customers will desire and they want to be at the forefront of production once smart locks become common enough for mass production.

In Assa Abloy’s case, they must hope that they have not already missed the boat in regard to smart locks. With smaller companies like August and Lockitron already hitting the market, it would behoove Assa Abloy to develop a plan for expansion into smart technology as soon as possible. With technological prices decreasing, as smart phone use increases, these smart locks are poised to make a huge boom in use. It remains to be seen if it will be easy for Assa Abloy to enter the fray, when they do decide to, but the partnership that August has with Apple puts August in the best position to be successful going forward. It will be interesting to see what Assa Abloy is able to produce or if their share of the market will be much smaller due to delayed response to customer desires.

Safety Concerns as Digital Key Duplication Increases

More and more service providers are getting into the digital key duplication business. The premise is solid and seems to help homeowners avoid a great deal of hassle. All a homeowner has to do is take a picture of the front and back of their key and send the pictures off to a key duplication service for cutting and then shipping back to your location. The entire process takes just a few days and can have you with a spare key in just a few minutes. However, this ease has draw security concerns from some sceptics who believe that having key duplication so widely available in a digital manner can lead to an increased security risk.

One of the biggest security concerns is the ability for another person to take a picture of your house or apartment key for duplication, without you knowing so. Digital key duplication services fight this possible security concern by making the users input both a picture of the front and the back of the key. Key duplication companies claim that only an authorized user would have the time to take a close-up of both the front and back of the key. Additionally, if someone did make a copy of your key and use it to break into your home, key duplication companies claim it is easy to track these violators down thanks to the credit card that they would need to use, in addition to the billing address provided with this credit card. While these ideas seem solid at first glance, it seems that there are ways for criminals to get around the security of digital key duplication services.

Of course in addition to security concerns that surround the physical safety of your key, many potential digital key duplication service users are concerned about the safety of their keys once the picture is sent to the duplication company. So far there have been no security breaches for any of the major digital key duplicators in the United States, but it still stands to see whether there become more security concerns as hackers become more aware of these increasingly popular service. Duplication companies claim that they are doing everything in their power to ensure that your keys stay as secure as possible while in the duplication process. In addition to their security measures, check out some of our safety tips below.

Tips for keeping your house keys safe

  • Keep keys in your pocket rather than an exposed lanyard or belt loop
  • Never give an individual an entire key ring, only the key they need
  • Use keys that say “Do Not Duplicate”
  • Keep spares in a secure location

At the moment it seems that key duplication services are doing enough to keep customers safe, however is that concern worth the hassle saved by going to your local hardware store. Many hardware stores complete the duplication of standard house keys for just a few dollars and make an easy way to have spares made for your home. Unfortunately for vehicle owners, digital key duplication services do not have the capacity to provide you with replacement car keys. Remember to always ensure that the digital key duplication company you are choosing is reputable, after all, they will now have access to the piece of equipment that keeps your home inaccessible to outsiders.

Common Chrysler Car Key and Ignition Problems

It can be a very unsettling feeling, not being able to start your vehicle, and can leave you completely stranded. Our professional technicians are trained to handle any problem that may arise from your key or ignition and will have you quickly back out on the road again. We have found that cars produced by the same manufacturer tend to have the same causes of ignition and key malfunction. Below we have detailed some of the most common Chrysler car key and ignition issues that may effect your the function of your vehicle.

Two problems that you may encounter with the key and ignition of your Chrysler are that your key will not turn in the ignition, or the key can become stuck in the ignition itself. You may think that an issue like this may be caused by your car key, but the problem can actually be caused by the ignition. By calling Phila-Locksmith you can make sure that you will have service completed by a professional who will be able to solve any issue that you may be having with your Chrysler ignition. Inside of your car’s ignition there are small wafers which give the ignition a unique fit for your specific key. When these become damaged or are shifted out of position this can cause the key to not function properly.

chrysler car keys

Phila-Locksmith has car keys for just about every Chrysler model including transponder and remote keys.

If you request to have your Chrysler ignition fixed by Phila-Locksmith, you know that our professional will be able to complete the service for you. If your key will not turn in the ignition or becomes stuck, the first thing that our locksmith does is remove the ignition cylinder from its housing. Once the cylinder has been removed our professional will check the integrity of the ignition to determine if it will be able to function once the service has been completed and the ignition reinserted in the housing. There are two options for your Chrysler ignition service from here; if the ignition is still functioning our technician can change the wafers, if not the entire ignition must be replaced with a new one.

chrysler ignition

Pitcured above is a Chrysler ignition cylinder with replacement wafers pictured as well.

By replacing the wafers in your vehicle’s ignition, our technician is able to return your ignition to functioning order, but must also cut you a brand new car key. This is because those wafers act similarly to the pins inside of your average house lock. In order for the key to fit inside of the ignition where the wafers have been replaced, a new key must be cut to those unique wafers. By replacing wafers when possible rather than having the entire ignition switched, you are able to save a greet deal of money on your ignition service. Dealerships will not attempt to replace wafers and will simply replace your entire ignition no matter what the issue is. This leaves you paying much more than necessary for your Chrysler ignition service.

Whichever ignition or car key problem that you may be encountering, count on Phila-Locksmith to be able to resolve the issue for you, without the need for a towing charge. Our technicians can also help you to save money by completing professional repair services which the dealership is simply unwilling to offer. No matter which model Chrysler you may have, choose Phila-Locksmith to be able to assist you with car key and ignition services, 24/7.

ICYMI: See the Lexus car keys that Phila-Locksmith services.

 

First August Smart Locks Begin Shipping

Coincidentally, last August Phila-Locksmith profiled the August Smart Lock which was getting ready to hit the residential security market. The first pre-orders for these locks began to ship last week and customers must be ecstatic about finally receiving their smart locks. August Smart Locks offer homeowners convenient access to their home’s lock anywhere in the world. This allows for owners to allow access to their friends and family, even if they are running late. Since you can arm and disarm your from anywhere in the world, you never have to worry about forgetting to lock your door again, you can simply double check from the app on your smart phone.

The shipping date for August smart lock pre-orders had been delayed, however, this may be a welcomed delay for customers. The delay is believed to have been caused by August’s integration with the Apple HomeKit on the iOS 8 system. Apple’s HomeKit allows for  iOS 8 user to be able to access multiple home security apps from one convenient universal home security app. This also includes Siri integration, for even easier access through voice command.

august smart lock

The August Smart Lock puts the security of your home right in the palm of your hand.

Pre-orders were available for the discounted price of $199.99, but once the August Smart Locks hits markets in October, the price will be $249.99. The August Smart Lock is one of a few smart technology enabled locks which Phila-Locksmith has profiled, however; it is the first of these residential smart locks to hit the market.

Customer reviews after these pre-orders ship should be very telling about the reliability and usefulness of the smart lock itself. At first glance, it seems that the August Smart Lock would be a smart and sensible purchase for anyone who is looking to improve the amount of convenience that they have in their residential access. Integration with the iOS 8 operating system should give the popularity of August a big boost, as they look at trying to capitalize on the popularity of Apple’s iPhone.

SUV with Push-to-Start Car Key Stolen

(VIA Q13 Fox News) Push-to-start car key systems are suppose to increase the security of your vehicle, while also increasing the amount of convenience that you have when accessing your vehicle. For one car owner in Seattle this was not the case. The father stopped at a gas station to get a cigar with his 10-month-old in the back seat of the vehicle. When he left the vehicle to go into the store he left his 10-month-old in the vehicle, which Phila-Locksmith reminds you is highly dangerous.

The father was in line at the store when he noticed a man quickly open his car door and jump inside. The father then quickly ran outside pleading with the vehicle to thief to not take the vehicle with his child inside. Since the keyless fob was in the father’s pocket, when he exited the store he was back in range of the vehicle to read the fob and start the vehicle. At this point the thief started the car and took off with the 10-month-old baby in tow. Just a short while down the road, the thief ditched the vehicle and the child, both of which were recovered safely. Witnesses who saw the man jump out of the vehicle had to stop in from rolling down the street, since the man jumped out in such a rush that he had not even put the vehicle into park.

The question remains how the vehicle was able to start even though the key fob was not inside of the vehicle. Most keyless start vehicles claim that the engine will not start unless the fob is inside of the vehicle, but there have been multiple cases where a keyless fob has been able to start a vehicle from outside. Another concern with this story is another parent leaving their child alone in a vehicle. While a situation like this may be unlikely, why risk the safety of your child? The 10-month-old was completely alright when police recovered the vehicle. Police also took the thief into custody at a restaurant just blocks from where he had ditched the ride. Keep an eye to see if vehicle manufacturers will change the technology in their push-to-start systems in the near future as vehicle owners look for security that they can rely on. After all, what good is convenient access to your vehicle, if everyone has convenient access to the vehicle?

Police Officer Charged With Animal Cruelty

(VIA Billings Gazette) A police officer in Wyoming is facing animal cruelty charges after leaving a K9 police dog in a locked car for over seven hours. The black lab who had been with the police force for seven years died as a result of this. Officer Zachary Miller arrived with the K9 around 5:30AM to begin a shift and did not go to retrieve the dog until about 1:00pm in the afternoon. While Miller is still being employed by the police department, he is not currently on active duty. The officer faces a fine of up to $750 and a maximum prison term length of six months. Not only was the police dog, Nyx, not only a seven year veteran of the police department, but also lived with Officer Miller’s family. The police chief, Bryon Preciado, said that, “If he violated the law, then he should be held accountable just like anybody else”, in regards to Officer Miller’s connection to the death of Nyx. This in no doubt true, however, the current charges that the officer faces are hardly stiff enough.

There has been a surge in the amount of storied regarding both children and pets who have been left in locked vehicles. A police officer, of all people, should be aware of how dangerous that leaving someone or an animal in a locked car can be. It is reported that by the time the officer returned to his vehicle, the temperature outside the vehicle had gone from 53 to 86 degrees. This is clearly unacceptable behavior from a police officer. In many other cases, where the perpetrator has not been a police officer, the punishment has been much greater. Whether this is a result of lenient prosecution simply because he is a police officer, or a simple lack of appropriate punishment on the books has yet to be determined.

nyx

The dog pictured above is Nyx. The black lab police dog who was left in a locked car for over seven hours.

In many cases where an ordinary civilian injures a police K9, the citizen is charged as if the police dog is an extension of other officers. With Officer Mills only facing a slight slap on the wrist, in addition to still being employed by the department, it seems that the precedent is not the same if the perpetrator is a police officer. It will be interesting to see if there are additional charges which may be coming down the line for Officer Mills, or if he will be put back onto the active police force. More animals and children are making front page news for being left in a locked vehicle by their guardians. It is amazing that people still continue to commit the same egregious mistakes as these stories become more and more common place.

Man Beaten For Leaving Kids in Locked Car

(VIA WKMG) In the Northern part of Florida, one bar’s patrons decided to exact some vigilante justice on a father of three who not only left the children locked in the car for hours, but then attempted to drunk-drive away, once attention was called to his actions. Fortunately for the children they were unharmed in this case, but the results could have been much more tragic if it had not been for the wandering eye of a passerby,

One patron of the bar was outside around 2AM, when she noticed the three children, ages 5, 7 and 8, were inside of the car. The patron, Heather Weiss, had her eye draw to the vehicle after the children inside began honking the horn loudly and shouting for their father. Weiss, who’s boyfriend is the bouncer at the bar, notified management about the children and they set out to find the culprit. It was later found that a 28-year-old father, Joshua Delong, was to blame. After admitting the children were his, he attempted to flee inside of his vehicle, but was restrained by security, since it was believed that he was intoxicated. At this point other bar patrons who were upset about the entire episode which was occurring struck Mr. Delong as he was being restrained outside of the bar.

joshua delong

Mr. Delong was the 28-year-old father who was found to have left his children in the car as he drank inside of a local bar.

Once police arrived Joshua Delong was taken into custody, while no other patrons were taken into custody. To top off the entire story, Mr. Delong claimed that his wife was taking care of the children, but dropped them off in the vehicle while he was inside of the bar drinking. Upon investigation, police found that Mr. Delong had custody of the children all five days prior to the incident and that the children’s mother was not at fault.

For the passerby who found the children this was obviously a scary situation. Anytime you see children in a vehicle unattended it is vital to get help as quickly as possible. It is just a matter of minutes that could make the difference in saving that child’s life. Ms. Weiss did note that the children were both sweaty and crying while inside of the locked vehicle and also noted that the car’s keys were in the ignition. Despite Mr. Delong’s claim that he was “dragged out of the bar and beaten” it seems that he will be facing serious charges for his actions. More and more stories have been popping up of children being locked in cars and it is extremely lucky that we have good samaritans like Ms. Weiss around to assist those children who can assist themselves.

Most Frequently Stolen Vehicles of 2013

The National Insurance Crime Bureau has released it findings for the most common vehicles which were stolen during the year 2013. This data is very useful to car owners and perspective car owners alike. A vehicle that is listed higher on this list for vehicle thefts may be more costly for you to insure. In addition, if your car is one being targeted highly by automotive thieves then you may want to take extra precautions which will help to prevent your vehicle from becoming just another statistic.

most stolen vehicle of 2013

Two Honda models topped the list of 2013’s most stolen car, but which one took top honors?

The Honda Accord was the most stolen vehicle last year and with over 53,900 total thefts last year, the Honda Accord had 8,000 more theft incidents than any other vehicle that is out on the road. Coming in a somewhat distant second was another Honda model, the Civic. There was a total of over 45,000 Honda Civic thefts in the country. It seems that Honda owners have reason to concern about the automotive security of their vehicles, the third most commonly stolen vehicle was the Chevrolet full-size pickup which had over 27,000 theft occurances, about half of the total thefts of Honda Accords. The reason that Hondas are being specifically targetted is the high value of their parts. These parts can be stripped from the stolen vehicle and then used in more recent model Hondas. This allows the criminals to sell parts below market value, but still cash in on the high value of replacement Honda parts.

Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles 2013

1. Honda Accord (53,995 Thefts)

2. Honda Civic (45,001 Thefts)

3. Chevrolet Pickup (27,809 Thefts)

4. Ford Pickup (26,494 Thefts)

5. Toyota Camry (14,420 Thefts)

6. Dodge Pickup (11,347 Thefts)

7. Dodge Caravan (10,911 Thefts)

8. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee (9,272 Thefts)

9. Toyota Corolla (9,010 Thefts)

10. Nissan Altima (8,892 Thefts)

Whether or not your vehicle is on the list above, you may want to consider a few steps that you can take to make your vehicle a less desirable target for thieves. The first and most obvious step is to lock your vehicle whenever you leave it. Even if you are just leaving the car for a second, that is all it takes for a thief to be driving down the road with your vehicle. Removing all valuables from plain sight is also a recommended action, this makes it less likely for thieves to want to access your car. In the case that you do not have a transponder car key, you may want to consider using a steering wheel club so that even if a thief can start the car, they will not be able to operate it. Lastly, know the area where you are parking your car and, if possible, park in a well-lit area that can deter thieves. Whether your car is on the list for most stolen cars in 2013 or not, it is wise to take precautionary steps that prevent thieves from targeting your car.

Smart Technology Revolutionizes Access Control

Businesses as well as property managers always want the best possible access control from their business to ensure that security is constantly achieved. Smart technology is allowing access control to become more secure and convenient without causing any additional hassle for the end user. By choosing a smart card over a proximity card for access control, you not only make the entire system more secure, but also have a myriad of options to add to the smart card. Many colleges are already taking advantage of this smart technology. Both Temple University and Drexel University of Philadelphia have implemented smart card technology that allows students access to dorms, classes, sporting events as well as using their campus dollars at stores throughout the university. This allows administrators to  implement just one single identification card in order to access everything the student may need without the need for multiple access cards.

smart access control

One smart card can be used for a range of purposes including identification and access control.

 

Due to the encryption that is available for smart cards when compared to proximity cards, businesses and property managers can get the most secure access possible. By having smart credentials all of the information that is stored on that card is much more secure than it would be on a proximity card. This makes them much more difficult for individuals to counterfeit, which is why many major universities have turned to smart card credentials for their access control.

Smart Phone Integration

As technology advances there will continue to be more and more convenience added to access control. The cutting edge of access control now is the use of smart phones within a smart card system. Many companies are joining the smart phone movement when it comes to access control and are allowing employees to access parts of their facility by using their smart phone as if it were a smart card. The smart phone features will only function when the access control devise is within a few inches of the phone, which helps users prevent unauthorized access from occurring.

With all of the technological trends in access control as well as security, locksmiths can no longer risk being just a lock and key service. Most locksmiths now have to be able to deal with an ever increasing flow of smart technology in their field. Whether it is transponder car keys, smart phone enabled locks, or smart access control, a locksmith must be ready to provide technical assistance, just as much as physical lock and key services. It will be interesting to see where this smart card technology begins to be implemented. Universities have taken the first steps due to their size and need to control the access and information of a student, but it will be interesting to see which businesses are next to pick up on this access control technology.

“It’s 10 o’clock, do you know where your car keys are?”

With the increases in automotive security thieves are looking for more and more ways to still continue to take vehicles. Recently the trend has been to break into homes to steal the owners key. For the thief this is the most direct route and easiest for them to get access to your car. Safeguard yourself from automotive theft by putting your car keys in a secure place. Public services announcements use to go “its’ 10 o’clock, do you know where your children are?”, but now that can be supplemented with car keys as well. If your residential security is not what you would like it to be, then it may not be wise to leave your car keys out in the open overnight. By keeping your car keys and spares in your bedroom with you can prevent them from being stolen.

Across the United States and in England this car key theft trend is on the rise. No that most cars require a transponder chip of some kind in order to start the vehicle, thieves who do not have technical automotive skills have had to move to the theft of the owner’s actual car keys. For example vehicles with transponder car keys can not be hot-wired. In some cases a thief may have a device or the skills to program a new key to the vehicle, but only the most skilled thieves would be able to use that method for theft without being detected. The technicians from Phila-Locksmith highly recommend keeping your car keys in a more secure location of your home at night. It may also be wise to keep car keys away from windows or high traffic areas where individuals may commit a crime of opportunity. Owners of high security and luxury vehicles should be most aware as criminals target those types of vehicles because of their worth.

steering wheel club

The steering wheel club is a classic that should not be overlooked for older model vehicles and new luxury cars alike.

The best way to protect your vehicle even if a thief has managed to get your car key, is the classic steering wheel club. By using a steering wheel club on your vehicle, the thief will be unable to drive away from your vehicle. Hopefully technology can advance to the point that this is no longer necessary, however it seems that the classic steering wheel club is the tried and true method of preventing your vehicle from becoming another automotive theft case. Check out our previous blog post where we go over the models of vehicles which are most likely to be targeted by automotive thieves.

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 29 other followers