‘Smart’ Locks: A Work in Progress (cont.)

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At press time, all smart locks have an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Grade 2 rating for resisting wear and unauthorized entry. Most residential keyed deadbolt and keypad deadbolt locks have a Grade 2 rating, which is a step below a Grade 1 rating, which typically is found only in deadbolt locks that cost at least $150.

Biometric Failings. Outside of the introduction of smart locks, we haven’t seen further innovation in deadbolt locks over the past 4 years. However, we saw one type of lock go away.

Outdoor keyless biometric deadbolt locks, which scan your fingerprint and open the door if the deadbolt lock finds a preprogrammed matching fingerprint, disappeared from the market in the past 2 years. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2014, three manufacturers told us that the systems were too unreliable and too prone to user error for residential use. Gillett tells us that biometric deadbolt locks failed to work consistently and had interfaces that were difficult for consumers to operate.

For now, we wonder whether smart locks are just more of the same.

Jerry Levine is the technology editor for Locksmith Ledger. He has written about the lock industry for 30 years.

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