I think that many of us still think of locks as a mechanical device that uses a key to lock and unlock it. That has been the case since the lock was invented and still is today. However things are changing very rapidly and some form of electric or electronic locks are everywhere. We can thank the smartphone and all its apps for that. But what about the future?
I think that as the automated house becomes more popular and smartphone apps smarter locks will have to follow suit. Their first job will always be to protect the house and the people inside, to allow the authorized people in and keep the unauthorized out. But after that the possibilities are endless.
Locks of the future may not even look like the locks of today. When you approach a front door in the house of the future you may not see any type of lock at all. The door will unlock and open to a command on your smartphone or maybe there will be an iris reader, fingerprint reader or a device to authenticate your voice. At the same time that the door unlocks lights will turn on, maybe the TV or stereo will also come on.
We are not far off from these things becoming a reality. The technology is already here and is being used today in high security and some government applications. The only thing necessary to bring it to the masses is for the prices to come down. The first thing that you will see is home builders will start to incorporate more home automation into their designs. Once this happens and the public accepts it, home automation will become as necessary as the refrigerator when someone is making a home purchasing decision.
The other important thing is acceptance. People must accept and use all this home automation technology. This is where the millennium generation and younger come into play, they were brought up and educated with all this technology, and it is second nature to them. This generation will demand the home automation technology.
No matter how high tech locks and locking systems become, there will always be a mechanical component to the lock of the future. The locking latch or locking bolt will be mechanical, it might be made out of some new space age material, but you will always need a lock bolt to keep the door locked.