Smart locks leverage IoT-enabled sensors to operate keyless entry devices that allow users to access doors remotely, through a smartphone or other internet-connected device. Smart locks provide users the ability to unlock their door without a key, from anywhere, as well as distribute virtual keys to visitors.
According to a 2019 report by Parks Associates, one in four U.S. broadband households intend to equip their home with a smart door lock in the near future.
There are two types of locks available. One lock provides additional functionality to existing locking mechanisms and must be retrofitted to the door lock already in place and the other completely replaces the locking mechanism on the door. While smart locks must be powered, many also allow a physical key to serve as a backup in case of a service or internet outage.
Smart locks offer additional functionality through compatibility with other IoT devices, smart assistants, or smart home management systems. These functions can include automating processes, like turning on your lights and adjusting your thermostat when the door is unlocked, or triggering the security system to record and send video if the door is unlocked outside of expected hours.