Smart door locks add real value for service businesses and consumers
Here’s how smart home specialists, utility and security providers, and telecoms companies can boost customer satisfaction and retention with smart door locks
Everyone from global IoT giants down wants to carve out a niche in the fluid market for smart home technologies. Connected hubs, smart lighting, intelligent thermostats and more are now mainstream products, and readily available off-the-shelf.
Major opportunities, however, lie beyond just building or selling the best products. In the commercial security sector, growth in electronic access control has been fuelled by integrations. Configured properly, different systems built by different manufacturers come together to offer enhanced benefits to facilities managers and site users. This interoperability is a major market driver.
So, it’s no surprise that new, relatively unexplored synergies are also emerging in the smart home sector. Smart devices work best when they work in tandem, which is where connected door locks come in. The right locks make life easier, save us time, and upgrade our security as part of a growing, interconnected home automation ecosystem
A few obvious questions remain. Firstly, how exactly can smart door locks help service providers to grow their customer offering? How can they grab this business opportunity? And why would a homeowner want a smart lock anyway? The answer may be simple: convenience and security, as two recent examples of smart locks in action show.
State-of-the-art homes trust smart door locks
Providers can prosper beyond just retrofitting existing properties. As architects and developers reimagine the buildings of the future, integrated smart door locking will be an essential element. For new high-rise homes, Turkish constructor Hiper Gayrimenkul Group sought the best available technology to make life easier for prospective buyers. Their Future Park Istanbul development is one of the most ambitious projects to date by the group, which is a leading player in Turkey’s buoyant real-estate sector. It involved an investment of 450 million TL (€111m).
The result is a complex covering 35,000 square metres, and comprising around 1,700 smart apartments, a 5-star hotel, a shopping mall, banks, multi-sports facilities, offices and restaurants. In addition to an exceptional location, Future Park offers premium resident facilities — including the latest in home automation integrated by a local service provider, residential technology specialists Aypro. Every apartment at Future Park is designed around the home automation concept, with front doors secured by a Yale smart lock from ASSA ABLOY.
Resident convenience underpins the entire design. The Yale lock integrates seamlessly with a smart ecosystem custom-built for Future Park. Functions include automatic extinguishing of energy and gas supply; activation of a security system under programmed risk conditions; remote adjustment of temperature and lighting; and intelligent management of energy consumption, which delivers 40% savings on a typical monthly utility bill.
Yale’s battery-powered lock is also energy-efficient. It enables residents to open their front door via the smart home system, with a secure PIN or RFID smart card, and without using a physical key. Integration of the lock with the apartments’ smart home system was straightforward and wire-free. RF communication also allows remote opening of the entrance door via app. In the words of Alper Uludag, Project Manager at Hiper Gayrimenkul: “Making the decision to work with a trusted global supplier of smart home security was the best choice.”
Smarter locks for in-home delivery services
In Sweden, a new smart lock is making the “Sorry we missed you!” delivery card a thing of the past. Some customers of PostNord, the Nordic mail services company, can choose to have e-commerce parcels delivered inside their front door, if it is equipped with a Yale Doorman smart lock from ASSA ABLOY. Once they have signed up, there’s no need for customers to wait in all day or travel to a collection point. Instead, they can fill their time with things they actually want to do, instead.
PostNord’s new service was designed for simple, convenient operation. Customers buy online and select home delivery from a participating e-retailer, in the usual way, and approve a specific delivery time slot from their phone. Choosing “home delivery inside the front door” as an option sends their PostNord delivery driver a single-use PIN code to unlock the front door. The code becomes invalid automatically on delivery; the customer’s phone is notified again when their parcel hits the doormat and their front door is locked again. The pilot project is already under way in Lerum, near Gothenburg, in conjunction with a handful of Scandinavia’s major e-retailers. (A short film explains the project; see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb2M2g2U85w&feature=youtu.be.)
Smart door locks open up new business opportunities
These are just two examples. The broad “lifestyle” benefits of smart home devices are easy to sell. After all, the potential customer base is tuned into the convenience of connected living. They already see a smartphone as their “remote control” for daily life. Home automation is a natural extension. Lifestyles get ever more digital. It’s hardly surprising we seek alternatives to mechanical technology used in Ancient Egypt.
The front door is the first point-of-contact with any smart home. It’s also the most important; a secure portal guarding all the rest of our home automation technology. So, trusted solutions from a locking company with a global footprint — and leading, recognised brands including Yale — are critical.
ASSA ABLOY offers a complete range of smart locks for any market, all built using standard communications protocols for easy, customized integration. Expert local support teams make it simple for service providers to work with ASSA ABLOY to grow the smart home business together. And with product lines including the ENTR® Smart Door Lock — recently awarded SMAhome’s 2017 Popularity Award — you know a smart ecosystem is in safe hands.
As we open doors to smart homes, convenience, security and trust must converge. It’s here residential service providers can thrive. Utility companies, cable and telecoms providers, security installers and smart home specialists can partner with trusted brands from ASSA ABLOY to offer dependable locks and convenient home automation, all wrapped in a customer-friendly service package homeowners can rely on.
For further research-driven insights into what customers really want from a smart lock, you can read “The Smart Home Security Report 2016”, published jointly by IFSECGlobal.com and ASSA ABLOY. It is free to download for anyone working in the smart-home sector; see www.assaabloy.co.uk/smartreport2016.