7 Ways Technology Has Changed Locksmithing
The locksmithing industry looks drastically different than it has in the last decade. Traditional lock and key systems are starting to fall out of the personal security mainstream as smart locks, and keyless entry options take over.
Locksmiths have kept their original skills like lockpicking and key crafting throughout all the changes. However, locksmiths have also had to learn new skills and offer new security services to keep up with these seven technology advancements influencing personal and home security.
1) Smart Locks
Smart locks are door locks controlled with an app on your phone. They let homeowners open the door from work, while on vacation, or anywhere else with just a touch of a button. Installation is relatively simple as they either install a deadbolt into a door or add on to an existing deadbolt.
Smart locks are becoming more advanced with more technology integration. They accommodate cameras, intercom systems, sirens, and anti-theft measures. The problem with these locks is that they require a power source to work and sometimes a phone connection as well.
If the power goes out in a smart lock, the homeowner is left to either use a backup key or door entry devices like the Folding Lock Pick Set: Pocket Knife Style. Most smart locks keep a mechanical lock as an option for opening a door in this type of situation.
The Folding Lock Pick Set is ideal for someone who can not carry a full pick set. It comes with five picks and a tension bar which is enough to get you out of a situation when a smart lock fails. Its lightweight and inconspicuous design are perfect for everyday carry.
2) 3D Printing
The advent of 3D printing has significantly changed locksmithing because now all a locksmith needs to create a set of keys is a picture of the original set or the lock and a 3D printer. Armed with just pictures and some manufacturer information, a locksmith can create an effective bump key.
3D printing also gives lockpicking enthusiasts 3D Printed Pinning Trays for arranging all the various parts of a lock and pick set while disassembling and repinning locks. This LPL-style tray is compact and provides intuitive organization for all loose parts.
3) Keyless Entry
Over 90% of cars produced since 2019 have keyless locking and unlocking mechanisms. This means the keys for the car are software recognition devices that tell the car to open or close. Locksmiths have had to adjust their old ways of assisting people who are locked out of their vehicles.
In the past, a locksmith might have used a broken key extractor and a bump key to open a car door that had a broken key inside the lock. Now locksmiths must educate themselves on car software so they can reprogram the system to open the car doors.
Locksmiths can reprogram a car’s unlocking system with a key analyzer and passkey decoder. The locksmith first finds the car’s electrical resistance values with those tools.
Then using a mechanical code key cutter, the locksmith can make a new key that triggers the car’s locking and unlocking functions. This all takes significant expertise and skill, which makes a good locksmith a valuable asset.
4) Card Entry
Card access is widely used in commercial buildings with multiple security levels. Card entry enables a company or building to give out tiered card keys to authorized personnel. Someone may have a total access card that gets them into any room. There are also various partial access cards that only work with specific rooms.
Locksmiths install, upgrade, and maintain card entry systems. These systems are highly flexible because the owner or a locksmith can remove or add access to a card relatively simply. Plus, there is no need to change a lock when a user loses their card. Some card systems even have access records so the owner can investigate break-ins.
5) Biometric Locks
Biometric lock and key systems are technically smart locks that use personally identifiable information to unlock the system. That information includes face scans and fingerprint scans. During installation, the owner authorizes themselves and any other individuals by scanning their personally identifiable information into the system. Then they can always unlock their system by presenting that information to the lock.
These locks usually come with a fail-safe physical lock and key as well. Smart locks and biometric locks generally do not provide increased safety over physical lock and key systems. They are installed for the convenience of not having to carry a key everywhere you go. If you are locked out of a biometric lock because of power loss or any other reason, a locksmith can use a bump key on the fail-safe lock to open the door.
6) Personal CCTV Systems
Locksmiths are in the business of security, and the rise of household video systems has changed locksmiths into experts in this field. Locksmiths are responsible for installing, maintaining, and upgrading their client’s video surveillance systems. Locksmiths are also tasked with training their clients in how to use the surveillance system.
Locksmiths need at least a rudimentary IT skill set to run these systems, and more advanced systems require integration with the client’s router or computer. This opens up locksmiths to liability for the functionality of the client’s hardware which means some locksmiths need high-level IT skills to safely offer advanced security services.
7) Home Security Systems
In addition to surveillance cameras, locksmiths also manage full home security systems. While home security systems used to just include a strong door lock and a dog, now they have alarms, cameras, motion-activated lights, and window sensors.
A good locksmith can evaluate a property’s security needs and install the necessary hardware. Plus, they can still offer more traditional services like using a lock pick set to unlock a front door if a homeowner ever gets locked out.
Locksmithing Grows With Technological Advancement
Businesses must innovate or die in this economy where new technologies are created at a rapid pace. Locksmiths are not exempt from this general rule, and they have been innovating in both their expertise and the products and services they offer.
Locksmiths need to be experts on smart keys, keyless automobiles, card entry systems, and 3D printing to keep pace with new lock and key systems. Plus, they have grown with the home security industry to be a supplier of home surveillance systems and home security systems.
Zero Day Gear has the most up-to-date lockpicking gear, from 3D printed trays to lockpicking guns. Contact us to learn more about our products and read our blog for more information on all things locksmithing.