Smart lock technology has been around for many years now and leading manufacturers such as CISA, VingCard, Kaba, Onity all offer options in their current product lines.
So, why hasn’t it taken off?
According to Craig Dennington of CMS Hospitality, “it will take off when Apple decides to ‘invent’ Near Field Communication (NFC).”
Everyone in the game from Samsung to Nokia has implemented NFC as a means for phones to communicate with smart devices with one glaring exception, the company with the smallest global share of the smartphone market, Apple.
Apple instead opted to create its own method known as iBeacon, which comes with significant licensing integration costs. So the next time you slide a plastic card in a lock on a hotel room, consider this, is the tail wagging the dog?
In addition, Apple likes its users to live and operate within the company’s ecosystem of solutions. Many also believe that lock manufacturers do not want to pay for the cost of integrating iBeacon within their solutions.
The reality is that, on an international scale, Apple is not the purveyor of this type of technology. In many ways, they are coming to the party too late when it comes to NFC and smart locks.
Perhaps this” late comer” is slowing down the implementation of an innovation that will ultimately enhance the guest experience. If this is the case, then hoteliers will lose out on an opportunity to bring smart locks to life and further please the guest, which would be a shame.