A lock solution utilising technology

Master Lock Master Lock Bluetooth Smart Connected padlock

The lock is controlled through an app on your smartphone.

Master Lock has always been at the forefront of development and this newest edition is further proof of that. The Master Lock Bluetooth Smart Connected padlock is probably the most innovative development of padlock technology in many years.

The Master Lock padlock has come a long way since their first padlock was manufactured almost a century ago. Mr. Robert Pullinger, the Operations director of IB McIntyre & Company, sole importers and distributors of Master Lock products in sub-Saharan Africa is excited to announce the launch of the Master Lock Bluetooth Smart Connected padlock.

DIY Trade News sat down with Mr. Colin Harding (CH), the marketing manager and Dr Conrad Greer (CG), the product manager of IB McIntyre and asked them to answer questions related to the product in order to understand its functionality.

Q: In a nut shell what is the Bluetooth Smart Connected lock?

CH: The Bluetooth Smart Connected lock is the next step in lock technology and access control. No more worrying about lost keys and remembering combinations. Now all that is controlled by an app on your smart phone. You now unlock and lock the connected lock as well as give access to other persons via your smart phone.

Q: Why did Master Lock use Bluetooth Smart technology?

CG: Bluetooth Smart is the technology that research has shown will have the most growth in the next 5 years and most smart phones are already compatible. It is a low power technology, so battery life is not compromised. Master Lock is part of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group so is on the forefront of this developing technology.

Q: How does the lock open?

CG: There are 3 ways in which the lock may be unlocked.  In proximity mode, when you and your smart phone are at the lock, all you do is press any button on the lock, it will then detect the authorising signal from your smart phone instructing it to unlock. Once the signal is received, it will unlock and may be opened. This is the most convenient mode.

In secure mode, the app must be opened on the smart phone and then any button is pressed on the lock, you then have to swipe your finger on the screen of the smart phone to send a signal to instruct the lock to unlock. This is not as convenient as proximity mode, but the most secure mode.

The lock may also be opened using directional combination. This is used when your smart phone has a flat battery, or it is not with you.  You then press the directional combination that you have set on the face of the lock.  The lock will then unlock. This method is also used, when you allow someone access to your lock, the app will send the person a once off directional code, which they will then use to gain access.

Q:  How do I know if my phone is compatible with the lock?

CH: Any device that offers Bluetooth Smart capability will work with the lock. This includes the Apple platform as well as Android 4.2 and later. If you search for the app on the Apple or Play Store and you can download the app, then your phone is compatible. If your phone is not compatible, you will not be able to download the app

Q: How do I start using my phone with my lock?

CG: You need to download Master Lock Vault and Master Lock Vault eLocks. Both are available on the Apple and Play Store. You then need to create your free account on the Vault. The app will walk you through a few easy steps to set up your lock to work with your Smart phone.

Q: What type of battery do the locks use and how long will they last?

CH: The indoor model uses a lithium CR2450 battery, the outdoor model uses a CR2 cylindrical battery. They are both readily available. With normal use, battery life will be a minimum of a year. The lock and app will give you ample warning to change the battery.

 Q: Will it remain locked in if the battery dies with the lock in the closed position?

CH: Yes, you will need to open the lock using the battery jump function and then replace the battery.

Q: Can I use the lock outdoors?

CG: The outdoor model is designed to withstand outdoor environments.

Q: Will it fit on my locker?

CG: The indoor padlock is designed to fit the locking mechanism of most lockers.

Q: What can I do using the free app?

CG: The free app gives you total control of the lock. You can unlock and lock the lock, add more locks, grant other persons access and set all the functions of your lock. The app also provides an audit trail of lock events, including when the lock was unlocked, locked, when an unauthorised keypad entry attempt was made, when guest access has been added, changed or revoked, and when the battery is getting low.

Q: How secure is the app to cyber attack?

CG: The app is very secure, it is encrypted with similar levels of security that banks use, so your data is as safe as possible.

Q: What do I do if my phone is lost or stolen?

CG: All you need to do is disable the pairing between your lock and phone. This is a very easy process done on the Vault site. In this way the security of your lock is maintained.  When you get a new phone, you need to download the apps and activate your lock on the new phone.

Q: What do I do when I upgrade my phone?

CG: On the old phone you need to un-pair the lock and on the new phone you need to download the apps and activate the lock on your new phone. A very simple and quick process.

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