3 Smart Lock Trends at ISC West

March 19, 2024
Be on the lookout for these innovations as you evaluate this evolving product category

This article originally appeared in the March 2024 issue of Security Business magazine. Don’t forget to mention Security Business magazine on LinkedIn and @SecBusinessMag on Twitter if you share it.

As ISC West approaches, and the security industry prepares to showcase advancements and innovations, access control and smart locks – in both residential and commercial settings – stand as one of the premier categories for introductions to have the greatest impact. The trade show is more than just a showcase, it is a portal to the future of security, offering a firsthand look at the seamless integrations of convenience, flexibility, and advanced security measures that meet the high expectations of today’s tech-savvy users.

From the physical lock type to the different technologies and communication protocols within, the present-day smart lock market is saturated with offerings that satisfy customer needs, but not always customer demand.

Customers are getting more and more tech-savvy. They now expect that the technology deployed within a home or even commercial building to match the pace of innovation in personal devices or software. Even in long-established security categories, there are some clear winners in this race.

Seize the upcoming opportunity to explore some of these innovations at ISC West or, for those who cannot attend, connect with the manufacturers you trust most to uncover more future trends shaping the security industry. With that in mind, here are three things to look out for in the smart lock market at the show: 

1. Z-Wave’s evolution: In the professional home security industry, Z-Wave dominates, with an adoption and market penetration rate of more than 90%. Z-Wave is tried, true, and secure, but perhaps most notably, is continuously evolving. Across the show floor, Z-Wave smart locks will be prominently displayed, not strictly because it is an “established” technology, but because each generation of Z-Wave silicon has met the needs of the industry with innovative new features while remaining dedicated to backward compatibility and interoperability.

Z-Wave Long Range (Z-Wave LR), for example, brings about increased range and dramatic advancements in scalability that will become commonplace in devices such as door locks.

2. Multi-mode access and biometrics: Locking solutions with multi-access capabilities are rising in both popularity and demand. Simply put, users want choices and options, and how they access a home or building is no exception. Smart lock solutions are adapting to this trend and providing users with a variety of options when accessing a space. These options can be customized depending on the method that best suits a customer’s needs.

While the physical key has reigned supreme since the dawn of locks, users have slowly but surely been introduced to other means of locking or unlocking a door. The ability to rely on keycodes or even remote lock and unlock for access where the door is integrated into a security system has started to become more commonplace and shifted into becoming expected in modern solutions. The advancements don’t quite stop there – advancements within biometric access space are accelerating at a rapid pace.

While some might say that having a lock integrated with a fingerprint scanner is not necessarily “new,” what is novel is seeing all of these access capabilities converging into a single solution. A smart lock solution that gives the user the choice to leverage a physical key, a code, a fingerprint, or the proximity of their body in some instances while remaining secure, is a winning solution.

Additionally, just like Z-Wave has continuously evolved as a technology, advancements in biometrics will continue to hit the market too. Some leaders in the space have already begun to move beyond fingerprint recognition to more complicated versions, such as palm vein and facial recognition.

3. Emerging technologies: Pervasive digitation access is another innovation the industry should keep a watchful eye on at ISC West. As established, smart lock solutions featuring multi-access capabilities are winning out but, what is the next great entry methodology? To answer that, take a quick look at outside industries, such as travel or even finance.

If you are familiar with the “digital wallet,” then you are well on your way to seeing where we are headed. Every day, users are leveraging their smartphones and connected watches to authenticate their identity and make purchases securely. Boarding passes, concert tickets, and even hotel room keys are becoming ever more digital as the global population grows increasingly tech-savvy.

While today several solutions are on the market that grant temporary or controlled access to a home via unique and one-time-use PIN codes, soon users may be able to share a digitized key to their home that is as easy as sending a text message.

Nick English is CEO, North America for smart lock manufacturer Kaadas. https://kaadassolutions.com