New Products, New Paradigm

June 16, 2021

Last week, we closed the July issue, which means it’s officially New Products time.

Every August, Locksmith Ledger profiles dozens of new products in the security industry, and I’m not violating any confidence by telling you that there’s something for everyone this year: locks, keys, mechanical, electronic, wired, wireless.

If I may pull back the curtain, our coverage of new products almost always stems from the annual SHDA Industry Advancement Summit. As I understand the process, it’s like speed-dating: You get 25 minutes with one manufacturer; they vie for your attention; then you race off to the next meeting. But instead of going from table to table, you’re rushing from hotel room to hotel room, so there’s the added potential danger of crashing into a cleaning-service cart.

I say “I understand,” because I haven’t actually attended one. Last year, SHDA was cancelled because of the pandemic. This year, it was moved to September, which doesn’t help with an August issue.

So, we set up virtual meetings, same basic parameters as SHDA minus the cleaning-cart dodge’em. We spoke with three dozen companies this year, and you’ll see the fruits of our labor in August and following issues, because there was too much for just one issue.

But this year, along with asking what was new and what was coming, another question was bandied about: You going to ALOA? What about ISC?

At this point, trade shows scheduled for late summer or rescheduled from spring to fall appear as though they’ll happen.

That’s good for a lot of reasons but also because I’m something of a new-products geek. In a previous life, I covered a wide span of consumer products, and it always was fun to put hands on the latest and greatest.

Once, Miele was touting a new dishwasher that had what it called “knock-to-open” technology. That’s right, you opened the door by knocking on the face of the dishwasher. A sensor released the door slowly (think: low-energy door operator).

OK, I have to check this out. I knocked on it high on the door face and then low. OK, so it works when you knock only so low. I knocked once; it didn’t work. I knocked twice; it worked. That’s pretty cool; I wouldn’t pay two grand-plus for it, but it’s still pretty cool.

I haven’t had a chance to do that for the past two years. Hey, I want to see how long it takes to set up that Bluetooth lock. Well, here’s a video showing you how it’s done.

It isn’t the same thing, just like having Teams meetings (Microsoft’s version of Zoom) isn’t the same thing as attending SHDA. I’m excited to get out there and finally put hands on products I’ve been hearing and writing about for the past two years. It might not happen this year, but the light at the end of the tunnel this time doesn’t seem to be a freight train.

So, am I going to ALOA or ISC? I don’t know, but if I do, I hope to meet you and get my geek on.

—Will Christensen