Padlocks are something that everyone uses in self storage. But padlock technology hasn’t really improved since the design of the first laminated metal padlock in the 1920s. With all the advancements of the 21st century, the Internet of Things is slowly internetworking many of our common physical items like cars, vacuums, refrigerators, and now - even padlocks!
If you own a self storage facility, you might be interested in bluetooth padlock technology. Even if you’re not interested in smart devices, you might soon see an influx of bluetooth padlocks. Read all about how bluetooth padlocks work and what you need to know about bluetooth padlocks in self storage.
Bluetooth technology was invented in 1994, and since then it has been used to connect one device to another wirelessly. (If you want to learn more about how Bluetooth works, check out this great infographic.) Most smartphones, including modern iOS, Android, and Windows devices, all offer Bluetooth capability, pairing with everything from watches to dog collars to toothbrushes. Bluetooth padlocks work in the same way.
Bluetooth padlocks have no keys or combinations. The locks come in indoor or outdoor, weather-resistant models and run on a long-lasting battery.
To use a bluetooth padlock, you simply:
What if your tenant doesn’t have their phone with them and needs to get into their storage unit? Or what if their phone dies? Bluetooth padlocks have touch-activated technology that unlock with a unique, directional-sensitive pattern of taps and holds.
We were curious to check out this new technology for ourselves, so we got our hands on a Master Lock Bluetooth Padlock and a Noke Padlock. Check out our product reviews below!
The Master Lock Bluetooth Padlock allows you to open your bluetooth lock from anywhere, by just opening the app. The app keeps track of who you let access your lock with a guest history and it also sends you “tamper alerts” if someone is messing around with your lock or trying to open it without your permission.
Touch Code: The padlock has a circular keypad on the front that lets you enter a secret directional code to open the lock if your phone is dead. The center of the keypad is blue when it’s processing your code, then turns to green and makes a ‘click’ sound when the lock is ready to be opened.
Price: The outdoor version of the Master Lock Bluetooth Padlock costs $89. The indoor version costs $70.
Toughness: The lock is weather-resistant with a 9V jump battery. The shackle is .36” in diameter.
Battery: The Master Lock uses a replaceable CR2 battery, which it claims lasts over five years using the app’s unlock mode and two years using just the keypad’s touch code to unlock.
(Get it? “No-key.”) Noke started as a Kickstarter project, and they’re now being sold at various locations around the U.S. Like the Master Lock, you can also manage multiple locks, create custom settings, allow guest access, and see a full history. The Noke app takes guest access and lock history a step further and lets you specify the day, time, location, and duration of access. The Noke app is GPS enabled, so if it’s stolen you can find it through the app the same way you track an iPhone using “Find My iPhone.”
Quick-Click: If your phone is dead, the backup entry plan is a custom quick-code, which is a unique combination of short and long clicks on the lock shackle (the top of the lock).
Price: The Noke Padlock comes in one style for $70. You can also buy a key fob add-on for $25 that enables you to open your lock without a smartphone or Quick Click code.
Toughness: Noke has a boron-hardened shackle, anti-shim technology, and no exterior sensors to minimize the effects of exterior damage. The lock is weather resistant for temperatures ranging from -10°F to 150°F.
Battery: Noke uses a standard 2032 watch battery, which it claims lasts over a year with regular use. The lock notifies you ahead of time through the app when it’s time to replace the battery.
If you’re interested in bluetooth locks, there are several other bluetooth lock brands on the market, including the LockSmart padlock by Dog & Bone for $90, the Quicklock for $70, and iBluLock for $40. A standard disc padlock (non-bluetooth) costs between $10 and $25, so there is a big cost difference between the high-tech padlocks and traditional padlocks.
Bluetooth padlocks would certainly make a fun gift for tech lovers. With the holidays coming up, it’s a safe bet there will be a lot more bluetooth locks purchased this year. If your self storage customers are the techy types, consider recommending a bluetooth lock for convenient entry into their storage unit. If your customers are more frugal, it might be best to stick with a traditional padlock.
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