Simple safety and security solutions remain on-trend

by | Jul 2, 2024

While tech savvy consumers often enjoy implementing high-tech safety and security products into their homes, for some consumers, having all the bells and whistles on a smart lock can be overwhelming. Today, digital lock options are proving to be an easy and stress-free alternative. 

ASSA ABLOY’s Director of Innovation Andrew Williams says this is why it is so important that a wide range of applications are on offer to cater to all levels of usability. 

ASSA ABLOY’s Director of Innovation Andrew Williams says a lot more consumers are looking at purchasing digital locks that are simple to use.

“We have found there are a lot more consumers who just want to purchase a simple, digital lock. This could be due to usability as well as price sensitivity. This is why we are actively considering the consumer’s needs and ensuring our product offer is aligned with that,” Mr Williams said.

“This is not to say that the fully ‘tricked out’, fully-featured products are not resonating with consumers. These products just speak to the type of consumer who is on a different part of the journey. There are those who are happy to make a small investment in going keyless, but there are also those who are educated on the smart ecosystems and are prepared to invest in these fully featured products,” he said.

While usability remains a high priority for ASSA ABLOY, the security of its products is front of mind.

“We continue to undertake a lot of validation and testing to ensure our products hold up to the security standards that we expect in our brands. In terms of usability, you do not deliver security by making a user experience terrible because then all you have is a high-security lock that no one buys. It is always about finding a balance between the two,” Mr Williams said.

Product innovations

With future lock innovations expected to include AI, ASSA ABLOY believes introducing this technology is most likely to be a slow burn because Australian consumers are conservative when it comes to implementing personal information into gadgets.

When the technology is developed, it is expected that AI will have an emerging role in simplifying the purchase journey, Mr Williams said.

Irrespective of all of the impressive features that can be implemented into a lock, ASSA ABLOY is a business that provides security first and foremost.

“Smart locks can be overwhelming. Product features can be better understood through AI support tools and will help bridge the gap between that knowledge base. In saying this, AI integrated locks are still some way off. For now, Australians are happy to punch in a code to unlock their door.”

Irrespective of all of the impressive features that can be implemented into a lock, Mr Willliams says that ASSA ABLOY is a business that provides security first and foremost.

“When we market our products, we try not to focus on the technical aspects of a lock. We prefer to market the features of the lock and communicate how this benefits the consumer. We market our products on why the lock is beneficial to the user and not so much how the products deliver these features,” he said.

Informed consumers

ASSA ABLOY’s Product Manager for Smart Residential Ben Tang says the knowledge that consumers have on their products has also changed substantially in the past three years and this was particularly evident when dealing with consumer enquiries at the recent Melbourne Home Show.

ASSA ABLOY’s Product Manager for Smart Residential Ben Tang believes consumers have become more informed in the past three years.

“The consumer has definitely become more informed. Three years ago, I found that we needed to explain all the product features during the Home Show, but this year I really saw a change in consumers in that they are more informed on what they want. This year we found that older consumers were still asking the questions but then going on to make the purchase because they don’t want to worry about their keys anymore.”

It seems that the older consumer is not only more educated on product features but also more comfortable with the technology. Mr Williams also says they understand that keyless technology can greatly improve their quality of life, especially when turning a key can sometimes prove difficult.

“Digital and smart locks take away the problem of struggling with keys and older consumers do not need to struggle with this anymore. Digital and smart products also have the potential to assist the in-home carer to enter the home when they are rostered on, making aging in the home experience so much better,” Mr Williams said.

Overcoming installation woes

When it comes to installation, some of the products can be just as tricky as trying to work them, which is why the majority of consumers opt to hire a professional to install their locks. This is especially the case if it is a newly built home and they have invested in smart security.

“Retrofitting a smart lock onto a door is a process that not every DIYer is comfortable with, as there are two skill sets required when fitting a smart lock,” Mr Williams said.

“The first skill is the ability to give the mechanical install a go, and the second skill is needing to be that techy person where you have to navigate the lock’s connectivity as well. We believe this is quite easy to follow in our app but to certain people, including older customers, they might find it difficult to install products by following the guidelines in the app.”

“There is a degree of skill required to install some smart locks whether you are a confident DIYer or you have it installed. Smart consumers are comfortable with the technology and are almost showing off with their products. Then there are those who are just comfortable with going keyless and choose not go on the full smart journey because it is too overwhelming,” he said.

Delivering peace of mind

For now ASSA ABLOY will maintain its focus on providing better locking solutions throughout its entire range first and foremost, while also delivering innovative solutions for a wide range of needs.

“There are a lot of choices in this market, including cheaper, inferior products. What we are trying to do is not only deliver a fantastic product platform that provides all of those smart connectivity and app features, but also gives our customers peace of mind and security.”

“This goes beyond how hard it is to kick your door in. It also means taking cyber security very seriously. As soon as we have a product that goes online, we need to be so conscious of this. It is not just the functional aspects of the product that we need to focus on, but also the fact that the security it offers is rock solid. We just need to reassure users that if they do choose us, they know that their property is secure,” Mr Williams concluded.