Smart lock adoption still at an early stage
Source: Elvina Yang, Freelancer
While the security benefits of smart locks are manifold -- allowing for remote monitoring of a user’s home activity, and the ability to provide temporary access -- the possibility of a lock being breached is still a worry for homeowners. Smart lock companies and connection protocol alliances, however, are working hard to ease these concerns.
The Z-Wave Alliance, for example, released the Z-Wave Security 2 (S2) Framework in 2017.
To eliminate the hassle of providing physical keys for visitors, LILIN’s smart locks utilize single-use QR codes. However, canceling a QR code for a visitor could still cause security issues, since they could still hold a valid code. To combat this, LILIN's QR code pass "creates backward authentication while scanning the QR code on LILIN door station to LILIN cloud for checking if the QR code is valid. The QR code access control can solve the issue of getting a physical key hidden in the floor mat of a mailbox for a B&B visitor," said Steve Hu, Product Manager at LILIN.
Consumer education to drive market growth
8.1 million smart locks were shipped in the U.S. in 2017, according to the data from research firm IDC. This number is expected to climb to 9.7 million in 2019, and up to 34.1 million by 2023.
While there is still plenty of room for the smart lock market to grow, it is not slated to appear overnight.
“It won’t be instantaneous, as education to consumers is imperative to demonstrate value and drive adoption beyond the traditional door lock option,” said Ramon Llamas, Research Director at IDC.
Llamas suggested companies try to highlight all the benefits of smart locks in order to win over smart home consumers.
"In the long-term, I’m hoping to see greater interoperability with other home systems, like sensing that the household has gone to bed and the doors automatically lock on their own without any human interaction.
“Another long-term challenge is differentiating devices in an increasingly crowded market, as many smart locks accomplish the same results. This could also lead to market consolidation, because no company is automatically guaranteed success and longevity.”
User-centric approach is the key
Danalock would like to tackle the market challenge with an approach that makes the user central.
“The market holds huge opportunities, but the only way to succeed is by working together and not making the same mistakes as have been made over the past 5 years,” said Hans Overgaard, the Founder and Managing Partner at Danalock.
He gave an example that service providers used to think lights and switches were the way to win consumers’ heart. But, it wasn’t true. To date, Google Home and Amazon Echo are the only smart home products that have been successful.
“These are the only products to actually bring something smart to the table, and something users can use everyday, and which don’t complicate consumers’ lives,” said Overgaard.
Overgaard sees the same potential for smart locks, which replace physical keys with access controlled via our now ever-present smartphones. “It is one of the only products that actually brings a fundamental benefit to the end user."