Welcome to the future of the front door. The classic wood door with a knocker will probably always exist, but check out what high-tech gadgets are becoming more widely available: touch screen locks, fingerprint scans, and doorbells that allow you to see and talk to visitors on your phone.
Keypad entry. Perhaps the most low-tech of the new locks is a simple, programmable keypad with digits that light up. The actual locking mechanism is a simple dead bolt. Once programmed, punch in the code and turn a knob to open. Without the code, the outside knob just spins.
Key fobs. Businesses and parking entry gates have used key fobs for years. Now they have arrived at your front door. What a convenience when you’re coming home with an armload of groceries.
Touch-screen locks. If punching actual buttons already seems quaint, how about a touch-screen lock just like you have on a smartphone? Samsung has a sleek model that allows multiple users and keeps track of who comes and goes and when.
Smartphone app locks. You’ve probably seen the commercials showing a wife quizzing her husband about whether he locked the front door before they left. He says yes, then pulls his phone out and remotely locks the door on the sly. This technology also allows you to schedule usage and creates an entry log. It also will send a text message to homeowners whenever the lock is accessed.
Fingerprint readers. For extra secure technology, fingerprint-reading locks can be programmed to accept only pre-screened fingerprints. The Kwikset company sells this lock, which has a handsome traditional look.
Who’s there? New doorbell technology allows you to see visitors who ring the bell and and talk to them on your smartphone.
Old school backup. If you are concerned about a technology or battery failure leaving you locked out, don’t worry. Each lock type has a manual key for emergencies.