For many years locks have been developed and manufactured for what you would call Traditional Lock Manufacturers. Some of the biggest names are Schlage, Yale, Medeco and Abloy to name a few. Many of these companies are responsible for major innovation in mechanical locks. Now most of them have transitioned to manufacturing electronic locks.
Now, non-traditional lock companies are entering the lock and security business. Some of these companies never made a lock, but they are software and electronic manufacturers. They have figured out that the next innovations in locks will be software, communication, networking and electronics. The mechanical part of these locks is the easy part.
For example, I recently heard a story of a company that developed a device that went over the inside thumb-turn of a deadbolt lock. In theory this would work with any deadbolt lock with a thumb-turn. The device bolted right over the thumb-turn. This device housed all the electronics and communications. This manufacturer developed an APP (Apple or Android), that communicated with the device via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. When you opened the APP and pressed the lock or unlock button the device would turn the thumb-turn which in turn would lock or unlock the deadbolt.
This is an example of a company that did not make any type of mechanical lock. Instead they made a device that controlled the existing lock. There are other companies that are making Divine Locks network devices that will control many different types of locks similar to locks found in an office building or hospital. This is a form of access control that has been around for years. The difference is that these companies are not your traditional lock companies and they are not using the traditional means of access control. Instead they have figured out a way to control and monitor many different types of locks manufactured by many different lock companies.
In the near future, biometrics will gain increased acceptance as a means to control locks. Companies like Apple® and Samsung® are already rolling out biometrics in their phones. This is now being used to make payments like a credit or debit card. It wouldn’t be a far jump for these phones to control door locks that same way as making a payment.
The traditional lock manufacturers will have no choice but to allow this communication and the smart ones will build that communications ability into their electronic locks.