The smart lock and the digital lock – many don’t really know whether they mean the same thing. To make matters even more confusing, sometimes the 2 terms get used together – smart digital lock. Or new terms get thrown into the picture, like electronic locks. There is the general idea that these are door locks that can do more than the conventional door lock and key, but it can be somewhat of a grey area to many home and property owners.
It’s not surprising though. We did a quick Google search to see what information is out there that explains the difference between the terms, but all we saw was advertisements or websites of smart locks or digital locks, and nothing really talked about how they relate to each other. We decided that there was a need for some distinction between the different terms, to make sure everybody is on the same page. If we couldn’t tell the difference between apples and oranges and just called all of them fruits, how would we say that one is sweeter than the other?
So for a better grasp of the different lock terms, we start with the basics:
The conventional door lock & key
We’re pretty sure that most would be familiar with the conventional door lock and key. The key is inserted into the lock to operate it, and together they are used as a security device to protect certain restricted areas. This method of restricting access has been used for a long, long time now (with the earliest keys dating back to ancient Roman times).
In today’s world, the conventional door lock and key is not entirely irrelevant. It is still a simple preventive measure to keep the bad guys out. However, it is definitely not the most convenient or safest method of protecting a home or property. We have had our fair share of experiences being locked out from our own homes at some point of time because we forgot to take our keys.
The digital/electronic lock
We wouldn’t claim to have scrutinized all research on the distinction between the digital and electronic lock. But from the layperson’s perspective, these 2 pretty much mean the same thing. They refer to locking devices that are operated by means of an electric current. This is a pretty broad definition, and covers many types of locks including those that are unlocked via PIN codes, RFID cards, biometrics (eg. fingerprints), and many more.
Keyless entry & elimination of key duplication worries
The digital/electronic lock has numerous advantages over the conventional door lock and key, such as keyless entry (okay RFID cards don’t really count). With a digital/electronic lock, you no longer need to worry about replacing missing keys or remembering to bring them out with you. Also, it eliminates the worry of key duplication.
While a few digital locks may be capable of executing time-sensitive entry, such as PIN codes which are only valid for a certain period of time, this is usually a rather tedious process. Home or property owners need to physically set the PIN codes or make any access changes by going into the administrative mode at the lock itself. Not to mention struggle with many steps because the lock is constrained by the number of digits/symbols on the keypad.