Mul-T-Lock Adds to SMARTair Lineup

March 10, 2022
An upgraded escutcheon and a padlock are the latest offerings.

Increasingly these days, an electronic lock has to be two things: It has to be smart, and it has to be wireless.

Mul-T-Lock USA released two electronic locks that satisfy both criteria and are aimed at the multifamily-housing market:

  • The SMARTair i-max is a battery-powered narrow escutcheon that can be used with cylindrical or mortise locks on a number of types of doors.
  • The SMARTair i-gate is an all-weather smart padlock meant to secure remote storage sheds or maintenance areas.

The i-max is an upgraded model; the i-gate is a new addition to the SMARTair line.

Upgraded Escutcheon

Mul-T-Lock improved the durability of the i-max. It’s aimed at common entryways, including front doors, because of its design, but it also can be placed at high-traffic shared-space doors that take a fair amount of abuse, such as a delivery room.

In addition to a stronger chassis, the i-max delivers a substantially longer battery life than its predecessor — an improvement of about 50 percent over the previous version. That means a range of 75,000–105,000 cycles on the escutcheon’s three AA batteries, depending on use. The i-max is certified ANSI/BHMA Grade 1, and it carries a higher environmental rating than the previous escutcheon.

Although it can be used on exterior doors, the i-max would require a weatherization package if it were to be outside all the time, such as on an uncovered pool gate.

The i-max is meant for new construction and retrofit applications and will work with most manufacturers’ locks. The i-max comes with a door template, and you might have to drill a couple of holes depending on the type of mortise case on the door. Scarring rings are available, and at more than 11 inches in height, the i-max will cover any existing prep. The only “wiring” involved is connecting the escutcheon reader with the battery pack.

In other words, it should be simple for locksmiths to retrofit. Nevertheless, Mul-T-Lock will make sure that installers understand the process thoroughly by becoming certified in the product through in-field training. A Mul-T-Lock consultant will accompany the installer on their first few installations, anywhere in the United States, and go through each part of the procedure along the way to make sure the installation is handled correctly. Although the first lock is expected to take some time to install, a complete retrofit should take about 20 minutes after the installer has been trained properly.

The i-max is compatible with multiple credential types, including mobile as well as HID iCLASS, DESFire and MIFARE radio-frequency ID card credentials. An optional keypad would allow access in case a card or phone was misplaced. The keypad also could be used if a customer wanted to set up two-factor authentication through producing a card and PIN.

The i-max allows for remote access control and system management, including audit trails and credential authorization or deletion, through connection with a SMARTair hub. Plus, the lock’s functionality can be expanded through firmware updates, so a customer could add a feature to the lock after purchase and installation.

The operation and management of the lock are handled by separate apps. Openow acts as the credential; Smartair provides the management. Mul-T-Lock is working on a single app that would handle everything that’s expected to arrive later in 2022.

Padlock Added

The SMARTair line includes smart cylinders, residential locks, cabinet locks and wall readers. The platform also now includes a padlock, the i-gate.

The i-gate has the same access capabilities as the i-max. After presenting your credential (phone or card) successfully, you rotate the button near the bottom of the lock body to pop the shackle. The lock is IP68-certified for outdoor use in any climate.

The i-gate takes a single 3-volt CR2 lithium battery, which is expected to last 60,000 cycles or two years in standby mode. The battery is changed by removing two screws at the bottom of the watertight rubber shell that guards the reader and padlock body to reach the battery module. The lock’s stainless steel shackle has a 1-1/4-inch height, and other shackle heights are expected.

Features: (i-max)

  • Nonhanded
  • ANSI A115 prep modified for through bolts
  • Wood doors, aluminum profile doors; glass and emergency egress doors optional
  • ADA-compliant levers
  • Door widths: 1-3/8 in., 1-3/4 in., 2-1/4 in.
  • Four operation modes: Standard, Passage, First user, Double user
  • Additional access control features: Time schedules, door-status indication
  • Memory capacity: 3,000 users and the last 1,200 events
  • LED (red/blue) or (red/blue/green) indicates authorization, battery level
  • Privacy feature with interior thumbturn optional
  • Mechanical key override optional
  • Four lever styles, plus custom
  • Eight finishes, including black or white, plus antibacterial option


  • Memory capacity: 3,000 users and the last 1,200 events
  • LED (red/blue) indicates authorization, battery level
  • Battery module maintains clock and calendar for five minutes without batteries
  • Shackle diameter: 11/32 in.
  • Length: 6-25/64 in.

More info: