Smashing the boundaries of locking innovation with iLOQ

For those of you who haven’t heard about me yet, my name is Frank Hayes, and I am the Country Manager for one of the newest additions to the iLOQ family – iLOQ Canada.

I have worked in the security industry for almost four decades, which is probably why I was asked to write this post. I’d like to give you my take on the locking industry, where we’ve come from, where we are today and what the outlook is for the future.

Primary drivers

As I see it, there is a basic need for increased security. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people out there who just want to take what doesn’t belong to them. However, the nature of burglaries has changed. Gone are the days when burglars wanted to steal household objects such as televisions. Prices are so low, it’s not really worth their time and effort. These days, it’s more beneficial for burglars to steal and sell personal identity information that they can get from, for example, our laptops and bank cards.

This new style of burglary means that the bad guy is not necessarily on the outside; they can also be on the inside. So, monitoring the movement of people in our buildings is more important than ever. Take offices, for example; a company’s primary asset may be its intellectual property, which can be quickly and easily compromised electronically on a flash drive. It’s vital, therefore, to make sure that the right people have access to the right places at the right time. We also need to have audit trails to track down and ideally prevent potential breaches in security.

Affordability is another driver. Today, there are more manufacturers and increased competition. Solutions are getting better and becoming more affordable for the end user. A few decades ago, access management used to be referred to as a ‘card access system’, because a card was the predominant credential. With increased competition has come increased choices such as RFID tags, fobs, PIN codes, retina or fingerprint scans, face and voice recognition and even heartbeat patterns.

The way forward

The advent of access-controlled lock cylinders on doors is a relatively new method of securing premises. The big manufacturers in the hardware segment have created these locking solutions and entered into the market. Some of the locksets and cylinders are battery-powered, some are powered from the physical key, and they work in either a wireless, wi-fi or update-on-card method. Large scale end-users are understanding the hidden, but very real, costs of managing a physical master key system so their minds are open to these newer solutions which remove the need to rekey if, for example, a key is lost.

Mobile access solutions are a very realistic solution to meet these needs. The biometric solutions mentioned above are not mainstream yet by a long shot, not least for the front door of residential premises.

Many markets are advancing, and end users are becoming more well-versed in digital locking solutions, thanks, in part, to high levels of marketing being done by the big hardware manufacturers.

Over the years, the locking industry has taken many leaps forward, but none as big as the leap made by iLOQ in 2007 when we introduced the world’s first battery-free digital locking system.

The market is primed for iLOQ, because we are the ‘next level’. Our digital keys and cylinders are ideal for the built environment (residential, public and educational buildings) while our mobile access solutions have been designed to add value and reduce total cost of ownership for customers, for example, in critical infrastructure and utilities (telecom and energy facilities).

Our competitors are nipping at our heels. But I see that as a positive thing. It keeps us motivated to continue innovating and developing world-class solutions that maximize security, minimize lifecycle costs and, as our slogan states, are really making life accessible. The future looks bright. The future is iLOQ.