Changes In The Wind

Feb. 4, 2013

The headline reads, "Unlock your Hyundai with a tap of your smartphone by 2015."  According to the article, Hyundai is planning on installing an NFC tag on their 2015 vehicles. When a properly programmed smart phone is placed near the tag, the vehicle will automatically unlock.  The smartphone can then be placed in a console holder and the car can be started without the use of a key.

Lowe's is selling a wireless smart home control system called IRIS.  IRIS is capable of remotely turning lights on and off, setting thermostats, running video cameras -- and unlocking locks. Starter kit pricing begins at $179.  Lowe's describes IRIS as a do-it-yourself product which most people can install in one hour.

Another example of the changes in our industry concerns my own 2008 Toyota Prius.  A wireless remote came as standard equipment.  Remote buttons can be pressed to lock or unlock the car. Once inside, the remote is recognized and a push button can be used to begin the starting procedure.

Recently the remote for my Prius would not operate. The car could not be wirelessly unlocked.  Fortunately the remote contains an emergency key and the car was unlocked with that key. Once inside, the car could not be started.  After some anxious moments the car did finally start. Obviously there was some electronic problem with my Prius.

What was once a specific part of locksmithing such as auto lock repair or key-operated deadbolts is no longer always part of our job description.  Unfortunately, my only recourse for the Prius trouble was to take my car into the local Toyota dealer.  Lowe's specifically advertises that homeowners can save up to $1200 by installing IRIS themselves.

ALOA recently sent out an announcement concerning their name change.  Their explanation was that the new name was to, "....expand our view of the future."  Perhaps there will not be as many car locks to fix or deadbolts to rekey, but there will always be enough other mechanical hardware items needing service or replacement to keep us busy.  In addition,  if we expand our view, the amount of new types of security products being introduced far outweigh any loss of older products and procedures which may be disappearing from the market.