The Era of The Smart Key

March 1, 2017
Offer your customers the flexibility and higher security of electronics. combined with reliable mechanical technology, with Medeco's Intelligent Key products

The typical security professional probably has a few categories of lock products they offer. Lowest security are the unpatented keyway products which they cut duplicate keys and sell for locks for general purpose applications.

Next, they likely offer a patented keyway product which has restricted keyways and offers burglary and pick resistance for those clients who feel the exposure to risk justifies the additional expense.

Some clients may have the locksmith develop a master key system based on a high security keyway or a non-patented one.

The fact is that unpatented keyways are an invitation for unfettered duplication and consequential loss of key control.

Sometimes the client is aware of it when a bank employee is fired and they leave without surrendering their keys. In a residential setting a babysitter is dismissed and she disappears with her key. At least in those situations the owner is aware of the transgression and can take remedial, albeit inconvenient and expensive actions.

But when keys are duplicated at the hardware store and either intentionally or carelessly distributed without the owner’s knowledge, there is a real problem.

Electronics has changed the rules of security.  So have enhanced mechanical key and lock designs.

In many cases, the requirements for patented keyways have diminished while the desire for burglary resistance has remained or even increased. 

Clients may be drawn to high technology as a means of authentication; they realize an individual in possession of a key is not necessarily the authorized key holder.

Smart keys enable to locksmith to offer key and lock systems which permit control over every opening, with a scalable system analogous to what is traditionally referred to as a sectional system.

This enhances the convenience and control of the project while rendering it proprietary to the originating locksmith. It indemnifies the locksmith's investment in the hardware and the security management he develops for each client.

Under the old key technologies, when a keyway's patent expired, the locksmith's control over a client also expired.  As key blanks became available, the battle over clients ensued. The only barrier, the master key system, is a strictly mechanical table of numbers which, with a few samples of key bitings could be 'hacked' into and taken over.

Using smart keys and the security encryption, this can no longer happen. Also smart locks cannot be bumped.

For many locksmiths, their name and reputation are their brand. Their loyally and service to the community is the differentiator. Clients are not primarily drawn to a locksmith because they are a "GIZMO Lock” dealer; the client is after the reliable services upon which the particular locksmith business has been built, and generally the client will accept the locksmith's recommendations for what particular brand or device should be used.

Security Management System Priorities:

  • Security
  • Reliability
  • Convenience
  • Controlling individual user's access
  • Knowing who has keys/credentials
  • Tracking individual's movements
  • Tracking door usage.

In turn the locksmith bases the product lines he sells on his experience with the brand: its longevity, quality, soundness of engineering, technical support and availability.

Many locksmiths will display a graphic or logo of their favored product lines. To a certain extent, a well-known and respected brand reflects well upon the locksmith but does not make Smith Locksmith a company store or relinquishes his identity to merely another GIZMO LOCK dealer.

The traditional business model of locksmithing is transitioning to where the sale of a lock is not necessarily a one-time transaction, but more like the traditional master keying service many locksmiths have been providing for decades, where the locksmith provides additional change keys to the master key system and is the go to for additional keys, additional locks, maintenance and management of the logging and reporting features of the smart key system.

Electronic systems also allow the extension of the concept of the "facility code." So while the traditional master keying and management business model worked for commercial clients with many doors or buildings, with smart keys, individual residences and small businesses can be outfitted with sets of locks and credentials which are unique to each customer, but can be managed by the within their larger and scalable smart key management system.

Medeco® XT

Medeco® XT is a complete electronic locking system providing Controlled Access, Accountability, Physical Security, and System Management. More than just a way to protect your property, equipment and assets, Medeco® XT is also a business tool that can lead to a substantial return on investment. Advantages include:

Audit Accountability: Audit information recorded in both the lock and key shows a time-and-date stamped record of every event, including authorized accesses and unauthorized attempts. The Medeco Data Dashboard displays system data in a new graphical way. The ‘Glances’ display consists of several mini-dashboards that provide insight into your system configuration and audit events.

Uses Existing Hardware: Medeco® XT key provides all power to the cylinder, eliminating the need for any hard wiring or power supply. Simply remove the existing mechanical cylinder and install the Medeco® XT cylinder.

Disabling of Lost Keys: Respond quickly to security threats, lost or stolen keys, or personnel changes without the added cost of changing your locks and keys.

Electronic Scheduling: Keys are electronically programmed to open only specific locks during a designated schedule. Schedules may also contain an expiration point to completely disable the key until it is audited and reprogrammed.

‘Key’ Features:

  • Small, robust electronic key with stainless steel housing
  • Intelligent key holds all access and schedule data
  • Rechargeable battery, up to 1800 openings per charge
  • Access: *16,000 cylinders maximum
  • Audit: *10,000 events maximum
  • Heavy duty stainless steel construction
  • Stand-alone, network, Web and mobile programming options

‘Lock/Cylinder’ Features:

  • No wiring required—all power provided by the key
  • Indoor / outdoor use—stainless steel shell construction
  • 2000 audit events
  • Unauthorized key list
  • Variety of retrofit cylinder formats
  • Requires Generation 2 key

Medeco M³ & X4 CLIQ

Medeco M³ & X4 CLIQ merges the features of electronics with reliable mechanical technology – all in a retrofit cylinder. M³ & X4 CLIQ offers end users audit trail, user access schedules and the ability to quickly and remotely change intelligent key authorizations with the CLIQ Web Manager and Remote.

M³ & X4 CLIQ installs with no wiring in a matter of minutes and intelligent keys and digital cylinders reprogram for electronic master keying. CLIQ can be combined with systems featuring Medeco3, X4 or BiLevel mechanical products to offer a blended security solution.

Audit Accountability: Audit information recorded in both the lock and key shows a time-and-date stamped record of every event, including authorized accesses and unauthorized attempts.

Retrofit Capability: The CLIQ intelligent key provides all power to the cylinder, eliminating the need for any hard wiring or power supply. Simply remove the existing mechanical cylinder and install the M3 of X4 CLIQ cylinder. CLIQ can be keyed in with Medeco mechanical systems featuring Medeco3 or BiLevel, Original or X4 (not available in SFIC).

Reduces Risk of Lost Keys: Respond quickly to security threats, lost or stolen keys, or personnel changes utilizing expiring intelligent key validation intervals and remote programming.

Electronic Scheduling: Intelligent Keys are programmed for specific openings with fully flexible scheduling. Access Profiles can be created where programming updates are generated automatically when an opening is added or removed.

Technical Information:

  • Audits: Key capacity of 1,000 events, Lock capacity of 750 events
  • Management: CLIQ Web Manager with Medeco Hosted or Self Hosted License
  • Power supplied by the key, no hard wiring required
  • Weather Resistant: Can be used in indoor or outdoor applications
  • Encrypted identification in cylinder & Intelligent key
  • Available in all common cylinder formats including KIK/KIL, LFIC, padlocks and deadbolts

 ‘Key’ Features:

  • Mechanical and Electronic technology are combined for superior security with Medeco® patented key control
  • Audit key up to 1,000 audit records provides information unavailable in a mechanical system
  • Self-cleaning electronic contact point for a long lasting key and reliable connection
  • Powered by an easily replaceable coin cell battery with 20,000 cycle battery life
  • Available with RFID/PROX coil insert for dual use with HID compatible systems
  • Rated for -20 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees Fahrenheit (cylinder and key)
  • Visible and audible status feedback
  • Compact size in water resistant housing

CLIQ Web Manager Features:

  • Role based system administration
  • Access Profiles
  • Remote Programming
  • Web Services Integration
  • Key Revalidation
  • Automated Change Notification

Q & A Medeco’s Gene G. Cronin

The Locksmith Ledger asked Gene G. Cronin, Aperio & XT eCylinder Product Line Manager and LEED Green Associate, Medeco, some questions about the Medeco Intelligent Key Products. Following are the Ledger’s questions and Cronin’s answers.

How does a locksmith become a MEDECO Intelligent Key product dealer?

The buy-in to become a dealer for our Intelligent Key products is minimal and is mostly optional (even though we recommend the following).

The dealer needs to be educated on both the XT and Cliq product lines. We have certification training that explains all aspects of the product. This is the only mandatory part of the process. And they need to sign an agreement that states they will represent the product professionally.

We recommend they purchase product for their business in order to experience the operation in their everyday lives. It is our experience that this helps greatly in term of getting comfortable with the technology. We give them a much higher discount than normal for the purchase of this hardware.

As long as they are actively seeking new business we also provide them with our XT Web Manager software at no-charge. This gives them the ability to login from anywhere (since Medeco is hosting and the software is browser-based) to manage the hardware and demo the system for potential customers.

So out of pocket expenses to become a dealer is minimal (and only on how many cylinders and keys they decide to purchase for their shop). Their biggest investment is really just time to invest for training.

Can you explain why there is both Medeco and Assa branding?

I think what you are referring to is the ability for our M3 Cliq keys to operate both the electronic cylinders as well as the M3 and Bilevel mechanical cylinders. If that is the case then yes, this key can operate many other product offerings and a wealth of different cylinder formats.”

What are the opportunities for Recurring Monthly Revenue (RMR) with these products?

As for recurring revenue, Medeco has a billing structure for yearly maintenance, updates, and support for the eCylinder web software and related services. This can be run through the dealer or, if set up for this kind of professional service, the dealer can replicate the services themselves.

For more information, visit