IoT Month Meets Safety Month: Let’s Talk About Smart Locks

The Following is a Guest Feature by Rob Martens, Futurist and Director of Connectivity Platforms at Allegion

Allegion_LogoThe IoT is not simply a grab bag of apps and smart devices. With the growing popularity of smart buildings, for example, it’s about how homes or offices respond to people, anticipate their lives and allow people and the environment to adjust to one another.

In recognition of both National Safety Month and IoT Month, let’s talk about one of the most innovative features of smart buildings – the smart lock. Here are a few key trends with these safety and security IoT devices:

  1. There’s an App for That: So, the IoT isn’t a “grab bag of apps” – I stand by my opening statement. However, smart locks do use apps – intentional, strategic apps that create a convenient user experience that supports a mobile lifestyle. The best smart locks can use apps to communicate with a variety of mobile technology – be it phones, tablets, etc. In addition to key-free convenience, a well-designed app will allow users to add or delete access codes, check on lock status or check battery life, anywhere, anytime. The consumer may interact with that smart lock more than any other connected device during their waking hours, so it can also be a powerful trigger for other actions in a connected world full of integrated recipes and scenes.
  1. Talk to Unlock: In a connected world convenience is king. In addition to being dependable, smart locks also must be intuitive to use. Things like “talk to unlock” functionality represent next-generation technology contributing to ease of use. A smart lock is first and foremost a safety and security tool, but providing a broad array of options to access the opening can really enhance the user experience.
  1. Alert! Alert!: If you really want to experience the crossroads of safety and the IoT, you’ll want your smart lock to have the ability to tell you what is happening around it. Is the door open or locked? Has it denied entry to someone? Are the embedded sensors indicating a kick-in attempt and activating an alarm? Having built-in sensors and intelligent reporting are big benefits to the user.

Of course, smart locks aren’t the only IoT connected building devices out there – So, perhaps the most important trend for smart locks is the ability to work on an open platform. Consider this: According to the “2014 State of the Internet of Things Study” from Accenture Interactive, 69 percent of consumers plan to buy a smart device in the next five years. The study also confirms that, by the end of this year, nearly 13 percent of consumers will have an loT device, such as an in-home security camera or automated thermostat. Even more, by 2025, it is projected that there will be 100-200 billion connected devices, translating to approximately 26 smart objects per person. We are at the cusp of a fundamental change enabled by the Internet of Things.


Rob MartensRob Martens is the Futurist and Director of Connectivity Platforms at Allegion. As technology strategist and futurist with a special focus on the IoT, Rob is responsible for identifying and incorporating trends, opportunities and partnerships in the electronic product space. Respected for his unique industry perspective, Rob has been featured as an expert panelist at International CES 2015, the Golden Seeds Annual Summit, the IoT Global Innovation Forum, Internet of Things World and CE Week, among others. A former corporate CIO, his professional background includes CPG, industrial manufacturing, distribution, financial services, consulting, education and automotive businesses. Rob is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.