Unconventional Locks Offer Security Solutions

Whether it is for your home, or your business, ensuring security is always a top priority. Recently we documented the security concern lock bumping presents and offered some solutions to this long standing security threat. For those who are concerned about the effect that lock bumping can have on their security, taking their residential or commercial security into the future may be a viable option. There has been very little deviation from a standard lock and key that people have become accustomed to; however, very recently lock manufacturers have begun to offer unconventional options which either include new technologies, or use existing technology in a way which is not normally anticipated.

XPUZMAG Circular Lock

A lock manufacturer in Taiwan has taken conventional lock technology, but used it in a unique way to provide home owners additional protection against commonly used lock picking methods. The XPUZMAG lock uses the same pins and tumbler technology that a standard lock would use, but deploys the pins in a much different way.

xpuzmag

The XPUZMAG lock which is manufactured in Taiwan.

As seen in the picture, rather than a small key slot, this lock uses an open circular face with multiple holes which reveal pins. When specific pins are pushed back using the specially made key, the lock can be turned and opened. There are also additional pins on the set which, when pushed in, prevent the lock from turning. Since each lock has unique holes, it is nearly impossible for a lock pick to guess which pins need to be held in. Lock bumping can not disable this type of lock. If a bump is attempted all of the pins are bumped, which would arm at least one of the “fake” pins preventing the lock from opening. There are some negative aspects to choosing a unique lock like this.

For example, getting a spare or replacement key must be done by going through the manufacturer. Additionally, if you are locked out, most locksmiths would have to drill the lock in order to get you back inside of your home. Perhaps American manufacturers can use the XPUZMAG as a basis for their own lock models, which could make getting spare or replacement keys much easier than contacting a foreign manufacturer.

Smart Locks

august smart lock

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

Smart locks are becoming increasingly popular among homes in the United States. Over 1 million homes currently use smart technology in their locks throughout North America. Not only is the cost of smart lock technology decreasing, but it also gives you protection against lock picking techniques which were relied upon to disarm conventional locks. Installed over your existing lock, the August Smart Lock is operated by an application on your smartphone. With no pins to bump, there is no way for a thief to bump or pick your lock. The same can be said for the Lockitron smart lock, which has many of the same features that the August lock has.

If you are looking to eliminate the threat of lock picking or lock bumping, these unconventional locks will be able to get the job done for you. The XPUZMAG may just be the beginning of innovative lock designs and we will continue to monitor American lock manufacturers to see if a counterpart appears. Smart locks have already arrived on the residential United States market with the August Smart Lock making its debut just last month. If you are unsure about the lock options which would be best for your home or business, call Phila-Locksmith and our professional will be happy to provide you with multiple options, or simply provide additional security information for you. As lock technology progresses it should eliminate many of the tactics that thieves use and result in much safer homes and businesses throughout the country.

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.

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.