The iconic Brink’s brand name is back in the electronic security industry. Well, it never really totally went away.
Hampton Products retained the rights to the Brink’s Home Security name after Brink’s electronic security monitoring was sold to Tyco in 2008. Hampton has been the OEM supplier for Brink’s mechanical locks and padlocks for the past 10 years, while also making security lighting and timers.
Now, Hampton is branching back into electronic security with the debut of Brink’s ARRAY, a smart deadbolt lock. The $249 lock formally debuted at CES 2017 and the recent International Builders Show. It has several unique features to differentiate it from the August Smart Lock, Kwikset Kevo and Schlage Smart Sense smart locks already on the market.
Among the features are Amazon Echo control (for locking and checking status only, not unlocking), fast installation time, geofencing capabilities with a smartphone, and controllable by both Apple and Android products, including wearable products like Android Smartwear and Apple Smartwatch. But the primary differentiating feature from competitors is that the unit is Wi-Fi based versus Bluetooth or Z-Wave.
“We know Wi-Fi is power hungry,” says Jim Hartung, chief marketing officer, “but there are advantages over Bluetooth and Z-Wave. With Bluetooth, there is a range limitation and security vulnerability. With Z-Wave, you can get a bigger range limit but you need a hub or dongle that plugs into a wall socket. Four out of every five U.S. homes has Wi-Fi, which offers the range benefits and interoperability.”
But what about the power problem? Hampton is addressing that potential dilemma in three ways:
- Lithium polymer battery – There are no AA batteries to be disposed of with Brink’s ARRAY. The lithium battery can be removed and recharged in three hours using a fast-charge plug that comes with the unit. User settings are stored in the cloud so the system is back up and running even after a complete loss of power.
- Photovoltaic panel – There is a discreet 2×3-inch solar panel on the lock. If the unit is placed in a location where it even gets a hint of sunlight exposure, it can recharge.
- Advanced circuitry – Hartung calls it “intelligent circuitry” that is “gentle” on the battery, allowing it to last for many years.
The company sees the lock as an ideal combination with its Push Pull Rotate mechanical lock line that automatically retracts a door's deadbolt using geofencing when the homeowner's smartphone is within 100 feet … without the need to physically touch the door.
Hampton plans to sell the Brink’s ARRAY online, in home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s, and to the integrator channel. At this point, Hartung is not sure if the unit will be sold to the professional installation channel via distribution or direct. The smart lock is due out this summer.
Hartung says Hampton has no plans currently to revive the Brink's brand name in the electronic intrusion products market, but noted he can “never say never” to that possibility.