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Schlage Plans Z-Wave Web-Enabled Door Locks

Wireless electronic devices can be locked, unlocked and monitored from a cell phone or any Web-enabled device


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Schlage’s new Z-Wave-enabled locks will look similar to the company’s non-automated electronic locks pictured here.

Schlage is adding an automated twist to its well-known door locks: a wireless, Internet-enabled product that can be locked, unlocked and monitored via PC, cell phone, or any other device with a Web browser.

The product is based on Schlage's line of keypad locks, "which outsold all competitive locks within the first year of being officially launched," according to Dwight Gibson, general manager, Intelligent Residential Security, for Ingersoll Rand, the parent company of Schlage.

Gibson says that, after the release of the original electronic locks, customers responded, "Wow, it would really be great to manage these things remotely!"

Hence the forthcoming automated versions.

The new products will have two-way Z-Wave RF technology built in. The battery-operated locks communicate with a Z-Wave gateway that connects to any broadband router.

The gateway serves up Web pages that allow users to remotely access the locks. From there, anything is possible: lock or unlock the doors; see who came and went…and when; schedule notification of comers and goers; create and disable passcodes....

Up to 256 devices can be accessed through a single Z-Wave gateway.

In the past, remote-controllable door locks have had some problems in the residential market because door bolts don't always tend to align correctly – you have to lift or push or otherwise manipulate the door to get the bolt to latch or unlatch.

But Schlage offers the electronic locks (the original and forthcoming Z-Wave versions) for traditional knobs and levers as well as dead bolts.

"Since you don't have to throw the bolt, you don't have that issue," Gibson says. "You don't have to worry about alignment."

On the outside, the new locks will look "pretty similar" to the originals, says Gibson. "Inside will be pretty different because you need to get RF in the lock."

As for the RF, Schlage selected Z-Wave for "the maturity of it and functionality," Gibson says.

It also consumes very little power, so the batteries can last up to three years.

Despite having RF capabilities, however, the door locks will not have companion keyfobs or other handheld RF device for unlocking the door, say, when you're carrying a couple arm-fulls of groceries.

"I'm not saying it won't be done down the road," says Gibson, "but instead of having another thing in their hand, they [users] can take advantage of things they already have in their hand, like a cell phone."

Presumably, though, since Z-Wave is a standards-based protocol, other Z-Wave-compatible controllers could operate the locks.

Locking up the Future


The Z-Wave entry system should be available in the fourth quarter of this year, and Schlage is "looking at a bunch of different channels" for delivering the product to market, Gibson says.

He won't divulge a price but says it will be "affordable." The non-Z-Wave electronic locks retail for about $150.

The solution is part of a larger initiative of "trying to pick up the pace in innovation" within Ingersoll Rand's $2.5 billion security technology business, says Gibson.

Products in that group, he explains, have been "predominantly mechanical, more recently electronic, and now we're looking to connect to the network,"

For his part, Gibson came from Ingersoll Rand's Kryptonite Lock division, which is also part of the security business. So are Web-enabled bike locks in the company's future?

Gibson gives us a noncommittal "maybe," adding, "We're definitely looking at some interesting things."




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Article Topics

News · Product News · Home Automation and Control · Security · Z-Wave · Home Automation · Z-wave · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.

5 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by anonymous  on  05/20  at  01:13 PM

Let’s see here. This is the same guy coming from the company whose Kryptonite lock could be beat with a Bic pen. Wow. I feel secure already knowing that its web based and requires being tied into MY router. I can just see the kiddies now wardriving, using basic techniques to access the WiFi router and unlocking the door, all from their own car. Cuz we know how many people know how to properly setup a home network.

Posted by Grayson Peddie  on  05/20  at  06:29 PM

If you properly setup a Wi-Fi WPA with a minimum of 10-character password, consisting of letters, numbers, symbols, and non-dictionary words, your network is secure. Do the same for web-based accounts! Put in a strong password! 16 characters (if letters, numbers, and symbols) is great! Or how about up to 32 for your WPA router?

Posted by Lee Distad  on  05/21  at  01:45 PM

Yesterday I made some unkind comments of my own on my blog, but I received a response from a friend with a solid background in this kind of stuff that’s worth reading:

http://businessopinions.blogspot.com/2008/05/another-perspective-on-z-wave-door.html

Posted by Peter Teller  on  10/20  at  04:08 AM

Schlage make really cool locks. Ilike! It is so cool to manage the locks via the Internet. There are of course security issues with the locks, but nevertheless… smile

Please read more about Locks here.

Posted by aaalex  on  02/16  at  04:34 PM

The lock works great, and you do *NOT* need to buy the Schlage bridge or pay the Schlage monthly service.  Vera, from Mi Casa Verde, fully supports the Schlage locks, uses the same level of security, also supports remote access from web and cell phone, does everything the Schlage bridge does and MUCH MORE (see: http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Side_By_Side_Comparison). And there is *NO* mandatory subscription fee.  Through 3/31/09 Mi Casa Verde is giving everyone who buys Vera + the Schlage LiNK a lifetime subscription to their online hosted services as well, which is normally $199.  You save $100 by buying the Schlage lock without their bridge, plus $150/year by not using their subscription, and $199 from Mi Casa Verde.  See: http://micasaverde.com/schlage_promo.php  This makes it more affordable, and you get a real, full-featured home control system that supports all Z-Wave devices and does energy monitoring too.

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