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Brian Willis

ISC West Day 2: A new look at locks, and at home with radar

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

My second day at ISC West—Wednesday—was the first day the show floor opened. And among other things I learned from my visits to various booths was how to view locks from a new perspective.

For example, at the Kwikset booth, Stanley Black & Decker national account manager Brian Willis told me that as dealers work to convince homeowners to add home automation features to their security systems, “a lock is that transition piece.”  Kwikset is part of the Hardware and Home Improvement Group of Stanley Black & Decker.

The door locks that the California-based manufacturer makes serve as a bridge to home automation. For example, one of the many features of the 2nd Generation SmartCode deadbolt lock with Home Connect technology that Kwikset introduced at the show on Wednesday is its ability to integrate with home security and automation systems.

That means the lock can communicate with other wireless products in the home. For instance, Willis said, the lock can be set up so that if a smoke alarm in the house goes off, the door will automatically unlock. As Keith Brandon,Stanley Black & Decker director of residential access solutions, put it, such features “add value to consumers and dealers.”

Not surprisingly, ASSA ABLOY, a Sweden-based door opening solutions company, also was talking locks—a lot of them.

Martin Huddart, executive VP and CEO, said the company has launched 280 new products in the last three years. He said that typically 95 percent of a building’s doors require mechanical locks because they are low-risk entry points and 5 percent of the doors are high risk, so require more expensive access control.

But Huddart said ASSA ABLOY also has solutions for medium-risk entry points and he urged integrators to explore with their customers “matching the right level of technology with the risk.” He estimated about 15 percent of a building’s entry points might require those medium solutions.

Another highlight of my day was learning about a new form of residential security: radar. That’s the latest development from SpotterRF, which makes compact radar systems for military and commercial markets—and now for the residential market. SpotterRF, a company established in 2009 that has offices in Herndon, Va. and Orem, Utah, announced at ISC West that it has installed radar security at a luxury estate.

CEO Logan Harris told me that he can’t reveal much about the client for privacy reasons, but he said he believes the job was the first of more to come in the high-end luxury market. Installed was a 100-acre, 360-degree perimeter security system in just one day that cost about $12,000, he said.

Harris said that radar “gives you the capability of sticking on GPS tracker on someone without their actually knowing anything about it.”