Smart lock technology – doors as a multifunctional means of communication of the future

The growing need for standardization concepts, the rapid development of the Internet of Things, omnipresent cloud computing and questions on data protection and security are currently keeping the research and development departments throughout the industry busy. Our expert Detlef Sprenger has already examined these important digitalisation trends in detail in the blog post "Locking and lock technology in light of the current digitalisation trends": Christoph Wyder, Head of R&D for MSL locks, will go one step further by taking a look into the crystal ball in our second article on the topic.

For Wyder, the current megatrends are not only related to technological progress, but also to the changing life and culture of humanity: "Increasing time pressures, a desire to use valuable resources more sustainably and consciously, and the fact that we are becoming more and more focussed on comfort, are influencing our view on the function of everyday things. They need to function intuitively - preferably without any aids." Nobody wants to waste valuable time in modern society. "Plug & Play" is the watchword.

"Plug & Play" solutions are taking over the market

Including on construction sites. "Take the example of installing a door," explains Wyder: "Ten years ago, manufacturer A supplied the door, manufacturers B, C and D then separately delivered the lock and key systems chosen by the respective building owner. The individual parts were only combined with one another by a fitter and finally installed on site. It's much easier today." That's one reason why, from his point of view, competitors with solutions from a single source have a clear advantage.

Whether in a professional context or in private use, this development is taking off due to the increasing focus on convenience among people in a fully digitalised world. Some research leaders, including Wyder, are already thinking in dimensions where instinctive human response mechanisms can be transferred to, for example, a door's lock technology. "After all, no key fits into a pair of ultra skinny jeans. This means that my front door must know automatically when I stand in front of it and open automatically if I want it to," states the ASSA ABLOY expert, outlining a possible future scenario.

Door locking and lock technology 4.0

Other approaches also take into account important aspects of energy efficiency and resource conservation. Access options such as the established cat flaps could play a completely new role in the near future – for example for secure parcel delivery by post or when a small child wants to pass through. Although these technologies and similar scenarios do not yet exist at your own house or apartment door, Wyder is certain that it's only a matter of time: "With the current options of convergence of building systems or 5G applications with sleep and wake-up modes, it is already clear that doors will also increasingly become a multifunctional means of communication and that it is up to us manufacturers to further develop the future-proof locking and lock technologies required for this accordingly."

Click here for the first blog post: Lock and locking technology in light of the current digitalisation trend