Smart Lock Innovations to Check Out on the ISC West Show Floor

Feb. 13, 2024

The largest converged security trade event will be upon us before we know it – are you prepared? ISC West brings together hundreds of exhibitors and brands across over 250 product categories to explore the latest and greatest solutions covering access control, biometrics, video surveillance, IoT-enabled devices, IT & cybersecurity, public safety, and recently, drones and robotics. Navigating all of the trends coming out of ISC West can be a challenge—it is the de facto hub for technological innovation from an incredibly diverse industry. However, one theme does stand out: the growing interest in smart lock technology due to increasing demands for enhanced security and convenience in both residential and commercial settings. For this reason, an overview of the smart lock innovations to be on the lookout for at ISC West 2024 will serve as a guide for show attendees. 

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.

For example, in the professional home security industry, Z-Wave dominates with an adoption and market penetration rate of over 90%. Z-Wave is tried, true, secure, but perhaps most notably, 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 core tenants of backwards 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.

A myriad of other technologies should be considered within the context of smart lock solutions, and that brings us to our next trend to be on the hunt for at ISC West. Locking solutions with multi-access capabilities are rising in both popularity and demand. Put simply, users want choices and options, and how they access a home or building is no exception.

Smart lock solutions that are capable of adapting to this trend and provide users with options on how to access a space depending on the method that best suits their needs are expected to grow. 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 common place and shifted into becoming expected in modern solutions. The advancements don’t quite stop there.

Enter biometrics. Advancements within this space are accelerating at a rapid pace. While some might disagree 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 recognition.

Pervasive digitation access is the final innovation the industry should keep a watchful eye for. As established, smart lock solutions featuring multi-access capabilities are winning out but, what is the next great entry methodology?

To answer that, we have to take a quick look at outside industries, and we can draw from travel or even finance. If you’re familiar with the “digital wallet,” then you’re well on your way to seeing where we’re going with this. Every day, users are leveraging their smart phone 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 it is possible with several solutions on the market to grant temporary or controlled access to your home via unique and one-time-use PIN codes, soon users may be able to share a digitize key to their home that is as easy as sending a text message.

As ISC West approaches, and the security industry prepares to showcase advancements and innovations, access control and smart locks stand as one of the premier categories for introductions to have the greatest impact. The upcoming event is more than just a showcase; it’s 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. 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.  

Nick English is CEO, North America, Kaadas