The world we currently live in is practically unrecognizable. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve seen how people become stir-crazy from social isolation. There’s been an increase in break-ins happening across Canada.
In Ontario, “Hamilton police say there has been a 131 per cent increase in the number of commercial break and enters during the COVID-19 pandemic”. In Vancouver, B.C., business break-ins are up by 567%, robbery is up by 56%, and auto theft has increased by 42%.
So how do we keep safe during this tumultuous time? Smart locks. As the expression goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Picture this: you’re on the way home from work, but you’ve lost your house key while you went shopping. They’re expensive to replace, and it ultimately leaves you feeling vulnerable to the world outside. Someone out there has your key. What do you do? Replace the lock?
There’s a better solution. Recently, smart locks have become all the rage. They are usually incredibly safe, a tough encryption technique preventing would-be hackers from guessing your code. They feature multiple modes of entry, so a physical key is not necessary.
Many smart locks include an app for your phone, which allows you to open it with a voice command, a numeric pad, or even the app itself. Some of them even have video doorbells as an additional feature to capture anyone shady outside your door or to video chat safely.
That said, smart locks have some drawbacks. Not all smart locks work with your phone’s app, some of them are a nuisance to install, and they operate on batteries that can die. Most importantly, many devices are still pretty expensive at the moment. The Lockly Vision is a costly $400 USD at the moment, while the August Wifi Smart Lock runs for about $250 USD, so it might be best to wait for a sale if you’re interested. You can buy ones for under $100 CAD, but it’s difficult to say how reliable they are.
The Bosma Aegis and Sentry
Over the last few months, a company called Bosma announced and started funding two new products: the Aegis smart lock and the Sentry video doorbell. Together, these items were being sold for just over $200 CAD, which will likely increase a bit once they hit store shelves.
The Aegis takes your average smart lock and blows it out of the water, which is exciting for the future of door-related tech. The smart lock alerts the homeowner if the door is left ajar or if it’s broken into. The device even automatically locks if you forget to lock your door manually or unlocks once you arrive home.
No app is required for close friends that are watching your cats while you’re on vacation. It’s encrypted, so it’s sure to be safe, and connects to your Alexa and Google devices if you own them.
The Sentry is equally awesome. It captures would-be thieves on camera, notifies you when packages arrive at your doorstep, allows you to speak with whoever is outside, and recognizes faces and fingerprints that you program into it.
If this sounds a little too good to be true, it’s because testing is still in its early stages and there are likely some kinks that need to be worked out. Before purchasing any smart lock product, always do your research beforehand; these devices aren’t exactly cheap! What they are is incredibly cool and futuristic, a science fiction novel come true. We live in a fantastic, technology-driven world.
. . .
At techKNOWtutors, we realize that adapting to technology isn’t easy. Although most services have closed, we remain open – digitally – to answer your internet-related questions. If you need help with improving your digital literacy, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or join our Facebook group and send us a message.
Better yet, sign up for one of our online classes that we offer for FREE every week! Until then, stay in the techKNOW.