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Thinking About Smart Keys? Don't Make These 4 Mistakes….

This story appears in the September 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

There’s a marketplace full of tech trying to replace the humble metal key with apps: Just tap a button and your door opens. There are advantages. Business owners, for example, can easily control who has access to their offices and when. But, well, is it a good idea? Answer: Yes, as long as you consider the following.

Security: “With software and wireless, there is an entirely new set of vulnerabilities,” says security expert Marc Weber Tobias. Hacker break-ins, as well as the physical kind, are a real possibility. He suggests sticking to brands such as Schlage, Kwikset, Yale and Medeco, which have a track record of producing reliable locks.

Keypad: Depending on a dedicated app for entry has its problems. Workers, say, may have incompatible devices, and a dead phone could result in a lockout. To avoid snafus, consider a smartlock that also has a number-combination keypad bypass.

Compatibility: If you’re building out an automated office — one where, for instance, the lights and air-conditioning automatically turn on when a door is unlocked — make sure your lock works with your preferred automation platform, whether it be Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings or another option.

Remote access: How much control do you need? Some smartlocks allow you to open and close them from anywhere in the world via app, while others only give you this ability if you’re within Bluetooth range. 


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