The evolution of locks

The origin of the lock is far from linear; it’s hard to actually pinpoint who invented and who perfected what!

The earliest known lock was discovered in ruins of the ancient town of Assyria, but pin locks were also discovered in ancient Egypt. Further, Theodorus of Samos, an ancient Greek architect, is often credited with the invention of the key.

Fast-forward several hundreds years, though, to the origins of the modern locks. The inventor of the lock is still often disputed as the types of locks differ quite considerably.

Linus Yale, Sr., for example, patented the combination lock and pin tumbler safe lock in 1843 and 1844 respectively, while his son, Linus Yale, Jr., is credited with inventing the cylinder lock.

old lock

You mightn’t have heard of brothers Jeremiah and Charles, but you’ve probably heard of the lock company that was named for their surname: Chubb.

Now, we arrive at digital door locks (also referred to as electronic door locks): the first person to patent the first electronic ‘keycard’ lock is believed to be Tor Sørnes. This was in 1975, and in the decades since then, digital door locks have evolved in sophistication, technology, and purpose.


What is the purpose of digital door locks?

The main purpose of digital door locks is to do away with physical keys: no longer will you need to worry about misplacing your house key, or recutting keys for employees who keep losing their only copy!

Digital locks offer businesses and offices with many employees an easier way of managing business security – one code for all employees. Better yet, with a digital lock, you can actually pinpoint control over who has access to what areas of a commercial property.

Keyless entry

Have you ever lost your key and ended up locked out of the house?

What about at the office, when you planned to arrive early and have an extra-productive day, only to realise you’ve lost your key, and had to kill an hour waiting for a workmate to let you in?

If you’ve ever gotten yourself locked out of the home or office, you know it can be frustrating and time consuming to get back in.


Electronic door locks in hotels

Electronic door locks are a convenient alternative to traditional keys (and even the slightly more modern key swipe cards and fob keys) for various commercial businesses, but one in particular that can enjoy a host of benefits is a hotel.

Rather than worrying about duplicated, lost, or damaged keys, hotels can manage a low-maintenance system to keep guest rooms safe and secure.

digital lock hotel


Property owners can also benefit from aesthetically pleasing digital door locks that can have their codes changes whenever new tenants enter a property.


How secure are digital locks?

Types of identifiers

Modern digital locks offer the flexibility of two common identifiers: fingerprint or numeric/alphabetical code. Each has its own benefits…


As we know, no two fingerprints are alike, so these types of digital locks are extremely secure. Depending on the type of digital door lock you choose, you may be able to program a number of different fingerprints, for a variety of people.


Perhaps the more common of the two, a numerical or alphabetical (or combination of both) can be programed to your digital lock. This code can be quickly save to memory and used whenever you need to enter a building or particular room.


Changing the codes

The best part about digital door locks is that they become even more versatile when you realise you can change the codes and combinations, as you need to.

Recently, we shared a short story on Facebook from a time where we rented a studio apartment on Airbnb. To enter the apartment, all we needed was a code. Our host provided this to us the day before we arrived.

This was convenient for both parties: our host didn’t have to wait around for us – he could provide the code and let us make our own way in, and for us, we did not have to worry about losing keys or returning the key at the end of our stay.

The host would then just change the code in preparation for his next guest – and not a key in sight!

digital door lock

Digital lock installation

Digital door locks can be either electrical or battery-operated. Even those that are electrical are equipped with a back-up battery supply, should your home or neighbourhood lose power – so there’s no need to worry that when the power goes out, your doors will fly open.

For many, digital locks still might seem like a relatively new trend or fad, but as the technology improves and the hype diminishes, they are becoming a more viable option for homeowners as well as landlords (they’re GREAT for rental properties!)

Do you think your home or business could benefit from modern, digital door locks? Tell us more by filling in this contact form!


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