The role of access control in modern connected living experiences
What makes us feel at home? For some, it's the people (or pets) who welcome you through the door of an evening. For others, it's their chosen decorations and furnishings. Of course, all of those are important, but safety is an often overlooked element. Whether you live in a small flat in the downtown of a major city or in a cottage that resembles the epitome of rural living, having the right "safety system," also described as a "security system," is essential. As highlighted by The Happiness Index, the feeling of safety this provides immensely affects our brain and mood.
But how can we ensure that our space feels safe? And where does access control fit?
What is Access Control?
I quote "safety and security system" because how you define "safety security system" varies. Whether it is as simple as a door lock, a full-blown access control system, or even an intrusion system, camera system, or any combination, how you define it is up to you. Delivering safety is not only a science or an art, but safety is also a feeling. Specific to this article, access control is a variety of solutions that fall under the security umbrella. Access control, at its most basic level, refers to keeping bad people out and letting the right ones in. That value proposition is very well understood in the commercial market, but what about at home? The same values apply - you want easy access for you and other occupants while keeping anyone who poses a risk out of your property. It is just less talked about.
Security Through Time
Throughout history, people have found ways to keep themselves safe at home. In ancient times, from Greece to Rome, the most prominent in society had security guards on their doorstep to keep intruders out. Skip ahead a few centuries, and breaking the Enigma Code, against the best efforts of those attempting to keep it secure, played a fundamental role in shaping the course of World War 2.
Nowadays, those seeking the newest security offerings turn to tech instead of security guards or code-breakers. Our solution-focused world has given us a new approach to ensuring our safety. Fresh from perspectives gained during the COVID-19 pandemic, our offices are being transformed with the latest biometric technology - but what about where we live?
Security at Home
Historically, access control has been produced by companies that specialise in the security industry. As a result, big tech has been on the sidelines with modest integrations and more e-commerce desires. But in recent years, some of the world's biggest brands have decided to get deeper into the industry. With Amazon and Google choosing to add connected locks and access control management features into their offering, there is an apparent hunger for improved security and clear recognition that there must be an opportunity large enough to garner their attention… But what makes a good access control solution for the home?
The most popular home security solutions prioritise the user and go beyond just the hardware design. For example, the 'ADT Self Set-Up' gives a clue away in its name. This DIY security system makes installation easy for the user and integrates with Google Nest devices. The product was born from a partnership between Google and ADT, bolstered by a multi-million dollar investment. So it's no surprise that the marketing USPs reflect the importance of user-friendliness.
It's been recognised by big players in the industry, but why is this element so important? Convenience. The truth is that the easier a solution is to use, the more it will be embraced. Convenience appears in many ways, including ease of use and workflows. Think back to when access control in the home was made of one burglar alarm and a mechanic lock. What would you do if you forgot the code to turn the alarm off and were unsure how to reset it? You could go months without turning it on to avoid the hassle when you get home.
By implementing access technology solutions that avoid such roadblocks, making them easy to use and integrated, occupants will be far more likely to make the most of their offering. Recognition of this has, and continues to, drive the access control industry to create systems that reflect the need for people to feel safe at home while delivering additional value.
We've heard time and time again that any industry wishing to thrive in the future should consider adopting mobile as a formidable technology, modality, and user interface. The security industry is no different. For example, Apple recently announced the ability to put keys in a phone's Wallet. Many companies have also announced the ability to control your home's smart lock from an app. In a world where working remotely and abroad is becoming increasingly popular and where the post-pandemic holiday boom saw a significant increase in individuals jetting off to sunnier climates, many people spend extended periods away from home. However, by being able to 'check in' through your smart lock or home security system app, it's easier to feel relaxed about the safety of the place you're going back to.
In the same way that soldiers no longer stand guard outside the homes of Roman Emperors, the way we live has evolved. We're now less likely to have to protect ourselves against power-hungry citizens conspiring to steal the crown - but we still need security that suits our day-to-day, whether at home or abroad, specially installed where we eat and sleep. This is why mobile-first access control systems do so well - flexibility for an ever-changing world.
Are you a landlord seeking to equip your tenants with a simple, non-intrusive access control solution? The above may appear too daunting to implement on a broader scale, especially in the homes of occupants you still need to meet. If this is the case, consider smart locks.
Over the last few decades, smart locks have become an essential security feature in smart homes, apartments, and condominiums. Locks used to be hardware-centric, a mechanical feat, with a glimmer of thought towards software. Nowadays, forward-thinking corporations have flipped it and are creating locks based on software. The most popular of these presents a bridge between a mechanical lock's security needs and a smart lock's convenience needs. As an example, take electromechanical lock cylinders or e-cylinders. Most e-cylinders, for instance, iLOQs S50 product line or similar brands, can be attached to anything from unit door locks to furniture locks, combining the old and new for easy installation. Smart locks that bring safety and state-of-the-art technology together, helping tenants to feel safe without the fuss, are the ideal choice for landlords seeking to retain and attract renters or homeowners.
Want a smart house that feels like home? Invest in security solutions and start with access control products. It's an underrated factor in our happiness; individuals deserve to feel safe in their houses. While choosing the right one can feel overwhelming, consider the following; is it a safety product? Is it user-friendly? Is it mobile? Does it suit my lifestyle? You can't go wrong if the answer to all of these is yes.
If this article has left you confident about the world of access control (good!), but unsure where to find the best solution fit for you, now is the time to sign up for the Access Control Executive Brief - the industry’s only objective analysis of goings-on.