Smart door locks have quickly become a staple of the home automation industry, and it’s a good bet that we’ll see them replace traditional residential locks in the coming years. But Master Lock has a more versatile product to offer – a smart padlock line that can be used just about anywhere.
It’s a logical progression, and one fully expected from Master Lock, which has worked with electronic and Bluetooth padlocks before. In many ways, its new line of Bluetooth padlocks work much like a smart door lock, except, of course, that they can be moved around between padlock-oriented entry.
The smart padlocks work like this: Buy a lock, and then download the Master Lock Vault eLocks app. This prompts you to create a Master Lock Vault account. Do it, and you have access to a number of smart features for your lock, including the ability to control the padlock at a distance, share digital keys (or cancel them) over the phone, and monitor who has used the padlock and when.
For physical unlocking, you simply approach one of these smart padlocks with your phone. The phone will create a Bluetooth connection to the lock, which can identify the proper authentications. Then walk out and touch the padlock to disengage the lock – presto, you’re done. The LED lights on the lock help out by showing if the lock is open, close, or has a problem. One of those problems is a low battery, so you will need to occasionally need an energy boost: This is one area where a traditional lock definitely has an advantage.
Battery concerns aside, a smart padlock certainly has its advantages, although it may be more of a boon to companies and professionals than the average home. There are two versions of the smart padlock, a 4400D indoor version and a 4401DLH outdoor version, and both have strongly competitive prices – $50 and $60 respectively. We’d love to see smart door locks enter that price range more frequently.