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Unlocking enhanced protection: Merging traditional hardware with smart technology

As homeowners seek to integrate cutting-edge technologies into their daily routines, the demand for smart home devices is on the rise. According to Statista, 30% of individuals in the UK have already adopted smart home devices to enhance building safety and security. Nonetheless, this doesn't indicate the demise of traditional hardware. Instead, it can serve as an additional layer of security, providing fabricators with an opportunity to introduce smart security options alongside established methods. Here, Sumier Foster-Shah, Smart Security Product and Customer Support Manager at ERA, highlights the advantages of combining traditional trusted hardware with advanced smart security systems to maximise protection and convenience.

With Statista reporting that the global smart home market is projected to reach a value of 17 billion USD by 2028, it’s evident that devices utilising smart home technology isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Given the efficiency, convenience and security that connected home technology is enabling, it is no surprise that people are turning to smart security to protect their homes and loved ones.

However, it is important to note that hardware is not becoming obsolete, as homeowners may still prefer to incorporate traditional security methods. Here, fabricators and door and window manufacturers have an opportunity to meet rising consumer demand by integrating new smart features with reliable hardware, offering solutions that blend innovation and tradition.

Using innovative measures like biometrics, app activation, voice recognition and Bluetooth provides users with convenience and secure protection for their home. However, homeowners comfortable with sturdy mechanical solutions may look towards manufacturers to twin ‘smart’ and ‘hardware’ for a holistic approach to their door security.

In instances like this, implementing a smart door security solution like ERA’s TouchKey system, can offer both contemporary and conventional methods of security in one. This provides an exceptionally secure and an adaptable solution for customers seeking the peace of mind provided by trusted mechanical methods, coupled with the protection and convenience of modern technologies.


Innovative smart technology

TouchKey stands out as the only system of its kind offering five distinct entry methods within a single door handle, including fingerprint recognition, the ERA Smart Home app, geolocation, voice activation, and a hidden key override.

Advanced biometric technology enables the storage of up to 50 fingerprints directly into the handle, giving users swift and hassle-free access to their property. Using the ERA Smart Home app locally, TouchKey can be unlocked with a simple touch or when connected to an ERA smart hub, can be unlocked remotely from anywhere.

From the app, e-keys can provide timed access to authorised individuals, such as family members, friends, or service providers, while personalised voice command offers a convenient hands-free unlocking option. Similarly, once activated, geolocation technology allows the system to unlock the door when a recognised smartphone's Bluetooth connection is within range of the handle.


Enabling maximum accessibility

With real estate services business CBRE predicting that multi-generational living will triple by 2040, accommodating different home access preferences looks set to become more essential. The TouchKey door solution provides flexibility, catering to both the younger and older generations by offering a method of entering the home that feels comfortable to each group. Additionally, keyless entry eliminates the need for house keys altogether, preventing the issue of people forgetting them and being unable to gain access without spare keys being left hidden in the garden or under doormats.

Similarly, a system that offers both mechanical hardware and smart solutions can greatly benefit older individuals and those with restricted mobility or health issues. With this in mind, ERA has incorporated biometric technology which enables easy door opening with the touch of a finger with the fingerprint sensor sitting directly on the handle, allowing easy one motion unlocking.

TouchKey is a complete door solution that includes an auto-fire mechanical lock that automatically locks when closed, fully securing the property without additional actions, providing all important peace of mind. A robust thumbturn cylinder also gives one motion release from the inside.

In line with ERA’s continued commitment to certification, TouchKey has undergone independent testing to meet BSI's new Smart Residential Locking Device standard, developed in collaboration with ERA, which combines the BSI Internet of Things (IoT) Kitemark with TS 621 for mechanical security with smart locking. Additionally, the solution has received the Secured by Design (SBD) Secure Connected Device accreditation, specifically designed for Internet of Things (IoT) connected products.

Featuring a contemporary design, TouchKey is available in Fab&Fix's Hardex Chrome and Hardex Graphite finishes, backed by a 10-year finish guarantee, and complements over 200 traditional hardware products within the Fab&Fix range. Moreover, the solution is accompanied by ERA's Mechanical Hardware and Smart Security Guarantee, providing door manufacturers with an assurance of quality and reliability.

As smart security solutions gain traction among modern consumers, there is growing demand for products that integrate connected technology with tried-and-tested hardware solutions. The emphasis is on combining the two to enhance security and convenience, while offering customers greater peace of mind.