Old vs new – Rise of the machines

The benefits of internet-controlled door locking systems

This article looks at traditional mechanical door hardware locking systems compared to new internet-controlled digital systems, how they differ, and what advantages each method has

We live in a digital age and technology has become an essential part of our lives, whether it’s 4K super HD TVs, computers, or smartphones; machines are all around us. Technology is trying to make our lives easier, but is this always the case?

Technology is prevalent among the door hardware industry and some companies now offer innovative, clever and secure keyless locking solutions. For example, the new MobileKey from SimonsVoss is an electronic access control system that uses a transponder, pin code keypad or smartphone, to lock and unlock a door, thus moving away from the traditional key.

In most settings electronic locks offer far more benefits than drawbacks compared to mechanical locks

Keys have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. We know how to use them, and we know to call a locksmith if we have misplaced them.

So now, with all this technology and smart devices allowing people to access buildings remotely, how safe and secure is it? And when are the traditional methods more suitable?

Keyless locking systems are the very latest in state-of-the-art technology. The trusty key is replaced with a digital transponder, PIN code keypad, or smartphone, and instead of a mechanical cylinder an electronic one is installed.

There are advantages of using electronic access control systems, including:

  • They are pick proof: Locks that don’t actually feature the traditional ‘keyhole’ that we think of, make it more difficult for burglars to gain entry as there is no lock to pick
  • Ditch the keys: Maintenance managers and supervisors find themselves carrying around big sets of keys to access all areas of a building, with modern solutions, these can be ditched and replaced with a single transponder for all doors
  • Control:It’s important not to overlook the additional advantages offered by electronic locks that are not possible with mechanical systems. Logging, auditing, intrusion detection, monitoring, and remote or automated locking/unlocking allows those responsible for building security, such as facilities managers, to know who was in a room and for how long. Access rights can be modified with a smartphone as and when

There are also advantages to mechanical access control systems. These include:

  • Electrical failure won’t cause a problem: Some digital locks are powered through electricity, and although power cuts aren’t all that common in recent times, should there happen to be a power failure, the lock may cut out – restricting you from entering the building. However, some do not have to be hardwired in and are standalone
  • Less maintenance:Having manual door and access controls tend to require less maintenance, but it’s extremely important to still check them regularly

So what’s best for your building? Digital access or a good old-fashioned manual system?

It’s sensible to be cautious when adopting this new technology, but not so timid as to deny the numerous advantages electronic systems have to offer over mechanical ones

The distinction between mechanical and electronic locks is complex, but important. In most settings electronic locks offer far more benefits than drawbacks compared to mechanical locks. It’s sensible to be cautious when adopting this new technology, but not so timid as to deny the numerous advantages electronic systems have to offer over mechanical ones.

Whether we like it or not, the digital age is here. It will stay and it will grow. Those who try to ignore it will get left behind, so why not give it a try and join the keyless revolution.

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