The Past, Present and Future of Locks

The Past, Present and Future of Locks

Locks have been used for thousands of years to secure property and protect our valuable possessions. At Lockout247, we’ve seen more than our fair share over the years. Here, we thought we’d take a look at some of the history behind locks and keys and where the future may lie.

The earliest known ones were built by the ancient Egyptians. These were made of wood and operated by a series of pins and tumblers. Of course, early locks were basic but effective and those principles still form the foundations of the systems we have in our homes today.

As civilizations developed and trade became more widespread, the need for more secure and durable locks became increasingly important. In medieval Europe, blacksmiths began to produce devices that were made of metal and were much more difficult to pick. These were generally expensive and were used to secure the doors of castles and other important buildings.

In the 16th century, a locksmith actually became a job in itself and these individuals created keys that were designed to fit specific locks. This allowed for even greater security, as it made it more difficult for someone to break in.

Locks were also used for chests and goods that may have to be transported over large distances. Although padlocks were invented back in Roman times the idea that a case or other piece of luggage could have its own built-in lock was revolutionary at the time.

The industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries brought further advancements in lock and key making. Machine-made locks were cheaper and more widely available than ever before making them available to the masses.

Today, locks and keys continue to evolve and improve. Electronic locks and keyless entry systems are becoming increasingly popular with many homeowners. While they offer a high level of security and convenience, there are some pros and cons you need to consider if you are planning to upgrade any time soon.

The Benefits of Keyless Entry Systems

Keyless entry systems allow you to unlock your doors without the need for a traditional key. You might have a card that you swipe or there may be a push button key system for entry. There are several benefits to this type of system:

  • Keyless entry systems use codes or biometric authentication, making it difficult for intruders to access your home. With no physical key to duplicate or steal, your home is potentially more secure against break-ins.
  • There’s no more fumbling or searching for lost keys. Keyless entry systems allow you to simply enter a code, swipe a card or even simply use your fingerprint to unlock your doors.
  • Keyless entry systems are user-friendly and relatively simple to install. They can be programmed with multiple codes for different users, making it easy for family members or guests to access the home if you want them to.
  • Keyless entry systems can be integrated with other smart home devices, such as security cameras and lighting systems, providing a seamless and convenient experience. If you love your tech, then going for an upgrade like this might appeal a lot more to you.

Of course, it’s not just on our doors at home or work that we are seeing changes in how locks are designed and operated. Buy a new car nowadays and it’s likely that it will not be opened by a key but by an electronic fob. There’s been something of a furore about these in the news recently. It seems that thieves have found a way of getting around the electronic system on some popular makes such as Ford and Peugeot. While technology offers a lot more simplicity and convenience, it does sometimes come with a price.

How Keyless Entry Systems Work

Keyless entry systems use a variety of methods to unlock doors. Some use a code that is entered into a keypad, while others use biometric authentication, such as a fingerprint or facial recognition. Once the correct code or biometric information is entered, the lock mechanism is released, allowing the door to be opened.

These systems can be installed on existing doors but they are more often integrated into new doors during construction.

Despite their many benefits, keyless entry systems do have a few disadvantages that should be considered before you make the switch:

  • Keyless entry systems are generally more expensive than traditional locks, especially if you’re upgrading an existing door at the same time. Additionally, the price of replacing batteries or repairing and maintaining the system in the event of a malfunction can also be a significant expense compared to fixing a traditional lock. This may well change in the future as technology is taken up more widely.
  • Of course, these installations rely on technology to operate and we all know that this can go wrong. If the system fails, you won’t be able to enter your home. This can be particularly problematic in the case of a power outage or major system malfunction.
  • This type of setup can be difficult for older or less technologically savvy individuals to use, and it may not be suitable for homes with elderly or disabled residents who require assistance to enter their homes.
  • These high-tech systems can be vulnerable to hacking, which means that intruders could potentially gain access to your home by cracking the code or bypassing biometric authentication.

It’s probably true to say that in the future, all locks on doors will have some techy aspect whether it’s opening them with a fingerprint or simply using ‘mind control’. Most doors today still don’t have this tech and we’re all more used to the simple but effective lock and key.

But even these can go wrong on occasion!

Whatever type of lock you have on your property, the team at Lockout247 are here to help if you have a problem. We’re based in Essex and we’ve got a good reputation for helping with a range of lock issues – whether you need a broken lock replacement or can’t get access to your home or vehicle because you’ve lost the keys.