What does the future hold for the locksmith profession? While the traditional lock and key system is unlikely to disappear anytime soon, technical advances mean that locksmiths will need to deal with an array of advanced locks. It seems that some sort of computer training will become standard for anyone who wants to be a locksmith. So how exactly do these advanced locks work? And what are their benefits?
A Smartphone Lock
This has become increasingly standard in buildings that used to require a lot of keys. Many hotels have done away with the traditional key or even the swipe card in favour of a smartphone app that allows access to the guest's room. The app is simply invalidated once the guest's stay has come to an end. Smartphone operated locks for home use are available from many security stores and locksmiths.
Knock to Enter
There's a type of smart lock already on the market that can be programmed to grant entry with the right "code," and no keypad is necessary. You can determine a secret knock which will unlock the door without the need for a key. If you happen to forget your knock, you can deactivate the lock via a smartphone app. It will also allow you to grant remote access to your home, so you don't need to be at home to let the plumber or the electrician in.
Walk to Enter
Everyone walks in their own particular way. The way that you carry yourself, when coupled with your height and your specific gait makes for a unique combination that can be recognised. An Israeli company has developed a motion sensor operated lock that is indeed capable of recognising you. When the lock determines that it's in fact you who is approaching the front door, the door will unlock itself without the need for a key.
It's in the Face
A new system has been developed that is coupled with a smartphone lock, or even a traditional non-electronic lock. The system is activated once the door is unlocked, and a small camera then scans the face of whoever has entered. It cross-references the scanned face with its database of those who are permitted to be inside the home. Your face, those of your family, and any friends or frequent visitors would already have been added to this database and approved by you. If a non-permitted person is detected, the camera sends an image of this person to your smartphone. You can then contact the authorities if you believe the person is there unlawfully. If you happen to be out of town, the system can be configured to directly contact the police.
So while traditional locksmiths will be in business for a while, advances in technology means that they will soon need to deal with smartphone apps and facial recognition systems, perhaps along with a rusty deadbolt that won't close properly.