The safety of a home is paramount- from fences, to gates, and grille, all the way down to the basic door lock. With the advancement in technology, we have seen home safety improve on so many levels with automatic gates, home CCTV and monitoring systems, motion sensor fences and more. Today, even the simple door lock has also been revolutionized for improved safety and increased convenience.
How many times have you locked your front door only to realize that you forgot something, and then going through the arduous process of fumbling with your keys to unlock your door and then having to lock up again. If it were just a simple turn of a single key, then perhaps it may not sound like a challenge to you. But with safety being a prominent issue in society these days, most of us would have at least 2 locks in our doors and a big bunch of keys.
The digital door lock is here to cut short that process to a quick scan of a card, tap of a few numbers or even just a quick touch of your thumb. You may have heard about them or even seen them (mostly on Korean movies or television series) but decide that perhaps they would cost a fortune more than a good old-fashioned door lock. Truthfully, they are indeed more expensive, but the key importance here is time and convenience.
Digital door locks on the market
So whether you decide they are just the stuff of Korean movies or too expensive for something as simple as a padlock and a key, take a look at 4 of these digital door locks designed for different levels of convenience and with the incorporation of different technologies.
1. Kaba E30 Card Key Digital Door Lock
The Kaba E30 is one of the more simplistic digital door locks. The highlight here is the use of a simple credit card sized card to unlock by ‘reading’ the card through radio frequency (RF). Very similar to apartments having card access at the lobby. Now you can have it at your front door. The question many will ask is, what if I forget my card? Kaba solves this by providing you a special physical key that you can insert by actually removing the door handle cover, which reveals a physical keyhole. The E30 is powered by batteries and will actually warn you when the batteries are low, so there is no need to fear when there is no power or if the batteries will run out without your knowledge.
2. Anviz L100 Fingerprint Lock
Minimalistic and simply easy to use, the L100 is a slight step up from the Kaba E30 in terms of functionality. It includes a fingerprint sensor apart from a card reader, which is another option for you to use in case you forget your card. The lock can store 5 fingerprints, making it practical for a small family, and can also be programmed for in case you have a guest over or maybe even a cleaner. Again, the backup for this unit will be a physical key that can be used if the batteries run out of juice.
3. Samsung SHS-5050 Digital Door Lock
Samsung is actually one of the major players in the digital door lock market and their designs are some of the most compelling. This unit is in the same range as the Anviz L100. But instead of a fingerprint scanner (like that of the L100), you get a digital keypad. Therefore you can either use a RF card or the regular keypad to unlock it. In simple order of sequence- use card to unlock door, use keypad if you forget your card, and use the provided backup key as the very last resort. The keypad feature is useful not only when we forget our card but also when we sometimes head out of the house to run some minor errand and forget to bring our cards with us.
4. Samsung SHS P718 Push Pull Fingerprint Digital Door Lock
Also another innovation by the Korean electronics giant, the Samsung SHS P718 is the cream of the crop- the ultimate digital door lock on the market today. The P718 features the best of all the aforementioned digital door locks. With a card access, fingerprint scanner, and keypad, you could not lock yourself out even if you wanted to. What makes it even more unique is the handle type. It utilizes a push/pull mechanism which brings even more convenience. With the SHS P718, opening the door is just a two-step process of scanning your card (or scanning a finger or keying in your pin code) and either pushing or pulling open it. Naturally, the doors in homes may swing in different directions. Samsung has thought of that with two versions of the same model to ensure that all doors can be fitted with this beauty.
Limitations of digital door locks
All of the aforementioned digital door locks are ones that come with a handle. You can purchase those without any handles but then again, unless you have a self-closing door, it may not be too practical.
‘Smart’ door locks that can pair with your phone have also been designed, but its limit lies in the fact that using smartphones to unlock doors just takes too long. For most models currently available on the market, you would have to take out your phone, open the app, and then unlock your door.
Though some models claim that you can leave your phone in your pocket and it will automatically unlock the door when you approach, this requires you to have the app running in the background. Limitation of this design arises when your phone runs out of battery. Hence deeming it a less feasible and convenient option.
Investing in convenience and safety
Digital door locks, though may be on the pricier side, can be thought as a form of investment or assurance of safety for your home, with their self-locking feature, you will never forget to lock the door anymore. You may be surprised how one little change could save you time and make life more convenient.
(Written by: Andrew Soh, 3 November 2016)