Security solutions for homes and other premises could soon dispense completely with the traditional toothed key, as technological advances offer occupants more convenient access options.

According to Kerby Rojas, Product Manager at ASSA ABLOY, the rising popularity of more sophisticated home security and automation systems, is enabling users to ditch their key chains and use their personal smart devices for access instead.

“Technology has forced the innovation of home automation and connectivity which are seeing the integration of electronic and mechanical functions become part of automated systems. This includes mobile phones, tablet and other mobile devices and security features such as locks, doors and windows,” Rojas said to Sourceable.

“This is the trend that residential, commercial and even the industrial markets are pursuing. That is, to integrate everything into your mobile phone or tablet, because these devices are essentially almost part of your hand now.”

The use of mobile phones for access purposes in lieu of mechanical keys, promises to bring far greater convenience to the users and occupants of secure premises.

Given that just a single smart device can be used for multiple applications, one can control almost all aspects of their lifestyle using just a single tool.

“If you compare mechanical solutions to mobile solutions, one of the leading advantages is integrating multiple access solutions from a single device,” said Rojas.

“In the past, a person might have had to carry dozens of keys on a single key ring until a master key was created that could be used instead of the multiple keys. The same thing is happening now with mobile devices.

“With mobile apps, you can now carry multiple keys for different locks or for different access points. For example, you can open both the door to your office as well as your home using the same mobile application, all based on existing wireless, near-field communications, instead of using two different physical keys.”

The use of a mobile smart device to open locks can present the same problem as the traditional mechanical key – if owners lose them they can find themselves barred from their own premises, while conversely other people who manage to procure those objects can use them to garner access. “The idea of having a keyless solution should mean that you don’t carry anything all to open your lock”, said Rojas.

Rojas points to another option currently available for more convenient access to secure premises – the truly “keyless” lock which does not require the usage of any physical object to open. The primary example of the keyless lock on the market is the lock that can be opened using pin codes.

“We’ve started to place locks with key codes – pin codes buttons – on the Australian market and in other parts of the world,” said Rojas.

“With these products the user doesn’t need anything to open the lock – you just memorise the code in your mind, and enter the code in order to open the lock”.

According to Rojas under certain circumstances keyless can provide even greater convenience to users than the integration of smart devices with home security systems.

“Keyless is not suitable for everyone. It is a matter of assessing your needs and requirements to apply the correct solution for you.”