Archeologists uncovered the oldest known lock, in palace ruins on the outskirts of Nineveh, in today’s Iraq. The lock is estimated to be some 4000 years old and consists of a large bolt with pegs in its upper surface to prevent unlocking.
Locks and keys made from wood were the standards until the Industrial Revolution changed the game. Locksmiths of the era toiled hand-making locks and keys to order.
Though initially, they didn’t specialize in just this craft, as their skills were required for all types of metalwork. As the design and knowledge of the production of locks improved, these craftsmen began to specialize, creating complex and often ornate locks for wealthy clients.
It can frequently be impractical to supply keys to everyone that needs access to a location, but leaving the door unlocked is hardly the best choice either. This is where digital locks come in.
Keyless entry systems are becoming ever more popular for domestic security. Where they were once only seen in hotels and high-tech business premises, they are now more common in people’s homes.
The reasons are obvious, digital locks offer more versatility and remove the problem of lost keys. For example, a keypad entry lock is a perfect solution for Airbnb hosts, allowing them to easily manage access to their property. This removes the potential problem of copied keys and can allow access only over a specific period.
Many of these new electronic entry systems allow you to gain access just by using your smartphone. The Bluetooth enabled phone lets the lock know when you are near, unlocking the door as you approach. Some systems will even let you know who has been to your house whilst you aren’t there, messaging you as it happens.
Disruptive Digital Locks Tech Currently Been Used Today’s Domestic Security
Amazon made headlines a few years ago, with the announcement that they would use drones to help deliver packages. This was a creative answer to a problem faced by their delivery operatives; the problem of where to securely put a package when the homeowner isn’t in to receive it.
Amazon’s less well-publicized solution to this issue is the Amazon Key Home Kit. The Key package features a camera which uploads its HD, night-vision capable footage to cloud storage, and a choice of 8 different keypad locks from leading manufacturers.
You are able to monitor who accesses your property on your phone and authorize when people can enter. It is even possible to have a conversation with someone as they enter your property. The system is ultimately designed to make Amazon’s deliveries easier too.
The camera is fitted within the house so that the parcel can be placed just inside the door, without the homeowner having to worry about the delivery person doing anything they shouldn’t.
The Amazon system presents opportunities for locksmiths. Not only do people often need help in fitting and maintaining the lock, but it isn’t a full proof system and has been known to malfunction.
The increased adoption of Amazon Key will naturally prompt other people to look into buying similar digital lock systems and beefing-up their domestic security overall.
The Google Home platform allows you to integrate multiple different electronic systems to allow easy home automation. Security systems, cameras, and electronic locks can be added to homes so that they can be controlled by Google Assistant on mobile devices. The choices that are compatible with Google Home are limited at the moment but are sure to increase as the platform gains in popularity.
The Future for Locksmiths
With the push towards digital locks by big players like Amazon and Google, the job of a locksmith will evolve. These new devices are dramatically changing the way people deal with their domestic security.
Certainly, mechanical locks aren’t going to just disappear, but this new emerging reality is creating the need of relearning how to become a locksmith in order to keep pace with the needs of the market and customers.
The integration of household locks into the digital home will place locksmiths in an important role as these security measures increase in popularity. This gives locksmiths opportunities to help homeowners improve their household security by moving into the larger home security sector.
The profession is growing with the boost provided by these new technologies, creating more demand for the services of locksmiths which have adapted to the new business environment.
Just as the role of the locksmith has changed in the past, so it will in the future. The move to more electronic locks and integrated homes offers the chance for locksmiths to expand their business and become more prosperous.
The rapid development of technology and digitalization does not only affect modern sectors and jobs, but it is being integrated into each and every industry, creating a need for a larger workforce, new recruitments and up to date training for a happy and modern community. But one thing is sure, the smart home and digital locks innovation are here to make our lives easier and safer.