The world today has literally become a very small place. With technologies adopting IoT concepts, it has become very easy to connect with other people and things, from anywhere!
Clearly, the sudden boom of IoT and its technology has given a big push to BLE enabled devices and their market! By BLE enabled devices I mean the devices that can be controlled remotely from your smartphone or tablet by connecting them with Bluetooth at very low efforts. Hence the name BLE (Bluetooth low energy).
The BLE devices and technology is used in so many ways and for so many purposes. They can be used to find a missing item or to measure your heart rate or to locate something or operate some machines, etc.
A very common example of this is the ‘Fitbit’ that people wear on their wrists nowadays. This device measures your heart rate and blood-pressure level and notifies you on your smartphone! How cool is that? Well, all this is possible due to the BLE technology!
Now, all this influx of information may lead you to the question- What is BLE? Let us look into it in some detail.
What is BLE?
BLE stands for Bluetooth Low Emission which is a wireless personal area network technology designed and marketed by Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG). This technology is used in making alternative and innovative devices for healthcare, fitness, beacons, security and home entertainment industries.
The main difference between Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy is that they provide the same range of communication but the latter reduces the power consumption and cost!
This technology works on Mobile Operating Systems like iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry as well as on Mac OS, Linux, Windows 8 & 10!
The Bluetooth SIG predicts that by 2018, more than 90% of Bluetooth-enabled smartphones will support BLE!
What are smart locks & how do they work?
A smart lock is just like a basic lock. By saying ‘just like’, I mean that its basic function is obviously to lock and keep things safe! But how it does it is different from a classic or a traditional lock!
A smart lock is an electromagnetic lock that locks and unlocks a door on receiving instructions from an authorized device wirelessly through a cryptographic key. Monitoring the access and the status of the lock is also one of the important duties that it performs.
You can say that it is an evolved lock wherein you don’t need keys or those cumbersome combinations to open it!
A smart lock uses a key to open, but this key is not a physical key. The key can be your smartphone or a special key fob configured to your lock, that wirelessly performs the authentication process that is required to open the lock!
There is also a concept of a virtual key that a user can use to share with a person of his/her choice. This enables them to share the access to the lock remotely.
All this remote management and communication is only possible because of the Bluetooth Low Energy technology present in these smart devices. This technology enables the lock to communicate and transfer the instructions to other devices.
The BLE technology ensures that the communication between the smart lock and the smart lock is secure and disruption-free because of the cryptographic keys used in the communication.
Why are smart locks better?
There are some obvious differences and advancements in smart locks once you compare them with traditional locks. So, addressing the elephant in the room, let me throw some light on why smart locks are better than traditional ones.
- Highly Secure
These smart locks are highly secure. They are as secure as a traditional lock and some more! This is because along with being secure they are also highly convenient.
Smart locks working on the BLE technology work on a technology that is highly secure since they use cryptographic keys to unlock the lock. From Bluetooth 4.0, both the features form the classic Bluetooth and the BLE technology started being included.
Smart locks also use other technologies than Bluetooth, like NFC, Wi-Fi-based technologies.
All of the above-mentioned technologies use secure standards and predefined protocols that provide maximum security digitally, along with the physical strength and durability of the product!
- Many Modes of Access
You get a lot of different modes of access when it comes to smart locks! You can either have an access through an app (Bluetooth) or you can unlock the lock through passcode (keypad) or you can also use a mechanical key.
A good lock will provide you with easy and convenient ways of access. This is not quite the case when it comes to the traditional lock and key.
You have to maintain multiple keys just in case you lose the current one! This makes it inconvenient and can make it less secure!
- Battery Life & Backup
Another plus point of smart locks is that they have a feature of low-battery notification that constantly notifies you of your battery status. This will give you enough time to replace the old batteries with the new ones so that the lock starts functioning efficiently again!
You may have a question as to what happens if you forget to replace the batteries and they die! Worry not! In such cases, you can jump-start the lock by connecting them to an external source of power, and you are good to go!
Also, many smart locks provide a mechanical or physical key so that you can unlock and have access in times like these!
- Remote Management through App
Another important and distinct feature or advantage that smart locks have over traditional locks is that they allow the user to remotely manage the lock! Can you imagine traditional locks allowing a user to do that?
You can be in your office and open your home to your guests without any worries. Or you can share a timed-access with your visitors so that you don’t have to remember to revoke the access once the user is over!
You can do all this on your smartphone, through a well-functioning application for the lock.
- Real-time Monitoring
This is a really cool feature! Almost like magic…
I say magic because you can know who opened the door, when the door was opened and all other important details, on your phone!
You can also access all the past records of lock/unlock the history and also access the share/revoke history. This can help you maintain your security better.
CTA - it is safe enough to say that smart locks are a far better and convenient option than traditional locks. If you want to know more about them and are interested in knowing the features in detail and how they work, check out our smart security products and their features here!