(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

Keyless Entry Goes Home

from the as-long-as-my-house-doesn't-honk-and-flash-lights dept

These days, it seems sort of old fashioned to think about putting a key into the door of your car. I don't think I've ever used the keys to my car to actually open the door. The keychain has a fob that has keyless entry, which is just easier all around. More cars are starting to show up with keyless ignition systems as well (the Prius, for example), so that all you need is the fob in your pocket and you can start the car up automatically. So, why is this only happening in automobiles? It sounds like some home lock makers are starting to move in that direction as well, working on systems for keyless home locks. Right now, they're the basic keypad variety, which are already pretty common as a way to open garage doors, but they say it's only a matter of time until you can open your front door with a key fob, just like your car. Of course, considering that the system used in the keyless entry systems for cars was recently cracked this might make some people nervous -- until they realize that their existing door locks are probably easily picked in seconds with pretty simple equipment. Besides, if you combine keyless entry systems with new sensor networks and home automation systems, you could be alerted the second anyone even unlocked your front door when it probably should remain locked. Still, my only request should such a system be built is that when I click on my key fob to lock my front doors, I'd prefer that the house not honk or flash its lights -- though, having the front light turn on when I unlock the door wouldn't be a bad idea.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2005 @ 12:58pm

    EZ technology

    We have had a numerical touchpad on our garage door now for over 5 years. Its a true blessing. No one has to remember keys anymore. If an emergency crops up and we are unable to get home to let the pets out we can simply call a trusted neighbor and give them the code. We can also change the code on the fly so it remains confidential to family members only. Many times we lock the door from the garage into the house. This way we also can give our UPS man the door code and he can place items we buy SECURELY in our garage. If I recall correctly the unit was only around 30 - 40 dollars and took my brother & I all of 15 minutes to install.

    My parental units are building a new house this year and are placing numerical keypads on all the doors & garages as well as the barn.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    slim999, Feb 15th, 2005 @ 1:39pm

    No Subject Given

    Sigh ... social engineering at its finest.

    Not to go off topic, but this is what is wrong with ... of all things ... Homeland Security.

    We should pass a law that would remove locks from the doors of our homes - or failing that, outlaw windows.

    Locks on doors create a FALSE SENSE of security; but no real security; and cause us to NOT CREATE real security.

    Many people are killed each year inside their homes because of this mass illusion.

    A lock doesn't even slow down a criminal; few would take the time to pick a lock. Much easier to just jiggle door handles until you find an unlocked one; or better yet, toss a rock through the nearest window.

    This thinking is exactly why you see blue-haired grandmothers being searched at airports; and why terrorists have no problem taking over airliners with box cutters and flying them into locked buildings.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous, Feb 15th, 2005 @ 2:22pm

    No Subject Given

    Wow... keypads on homes, imagine that!!!!
    Or, walk into any Lowes/Home Depot in the last five years and buy one. They are great.
    As an aside: Is there any way to get mainstream terminology to separate "Keyless" into two parts: Those that require a fob, and those that only require a code? I've had both and much prefer the code only. The fob is a tiny bit easier than the traditional key in that it doesn't have to be placed into the lock... but you still must posses it. The code is always with you (barring brain damage).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    TJ, Feb 15th, 2005 @ 6:08pm

    Garage Door Openers...

    Aside from outside keypads, how many people already use their garage as the primary entry method for their house, without locking an inside door? So far I've not seen that newer rolling code GDOs have been cracked. Still, most homes over five years old have lame dip-switch security codes that can be captured or brute-forced given a little time. Yet how often are break-ins accomplished this way?

    As someone else said, easier to find an open door soft target, or break an obscured window, force a back door, and so on.

    Key fobs are suspectible to jamming, a serious problem near some military bases and possible anywhere at times. This can't be easily solved since many fobs operate on frequencies for which the military has priority. Keypads seem more reliable in most every way, and usually allow temporary secondary codes for visiting friends/relatives or boy/girlfriends who may not last. Avoids sweating the whole "swapping of keys" nonsense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2005 @ 8:07pm

    remote control deadbolts

    Been using for a couple of years now. Highly recommended. Hunt around for a price of ~$100.

    No fussing with keys, just reach into your pocket/purse and push the button. Whir, whir, door unlocked.

    Plus, an LED on the inside lights when locked, so you can tell in the dark if the door is locked.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Marc Smith, Feb 15th, 2005 @ 9:56pm

    Keypad Home Locks

    So far, I've got you all beat - I *think*. I bought the house I'm in over 9 years ago and a keyless lock on the front door was the first thing I installed. I bought it at Lowes in Middletown, Ohio. Batteries last a year (at least I replace them every year in the fall - they may last longer but why take a chance).

    I haven't carried a house key for years. I have a car key but that's only for the ignition.

    The 'latest and greatest' I've seen are home door locks with fingerprint recognition doing away with the keypad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Sleepy, Feb 16th, 2005 @ 5:51am

    No Subject Given

    Many times after a very long day at work, I've tried to open my front door with my car's key fob. Somehow when the brain is half-asleep it seems like a logical thing to do. :-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Adrian Mason, Mar 11th, 2005 @ 12:43am

    Keyless Entry for the home

    Dear Mike,

    Saw your article on the net. QuickLock, developed by Mason & Co. Pty. Ltd, has been around for the past six years with a keyfob remote control. It can be utilized with any type of door locking system and can even automate existing locks.
    Also, with the QuickLock system, it is flexible enough to interface with other types of systems, such as home automation systems, existing garage door systems, and conveniently turn lights on.
    It is a hard-wired 12V system so that any home handyman can install it, and has high-tech code hopping security to stop would-be thieves.
    Should you require further info, please do not hesitate in contacting me.


    Adrian Mason

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Mark Ricards, May 15th, 2005 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Keyless Entry for the home

    I have never seen the technology for the push button keyless entry where do you find it. If it is already out why are there no ads for it. I thought that I was coming up with an original idea becuase I have never seen it and I do alot of home remodoling on the side. I live in colorado and you would think that some advertising would point me in the right direction. I have some other ideas for making money, mabye you could help me with?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Adrian Mason, Oct 4th, 2005 @ 4:59am

    Re: Keyless Entry for the home

    QuickLock Remote Systems have expanded their product range to include keychain remote transmitters, keypads and biometric fingerprint controllers.

    The locks are numerous from high security, energy efficient electronic multipoint locks, electronic deadbolts, electric locks, magnetic locks and electric strikes.

    The four button keychain remote can control any number of entry systems, lights, garage doors, gates, etc, so unlike the car, you can get your existing automated home locks onto one easy to manage system, and no batteries to replace on locks. You can even connect to door locks to your smoke alarm or fire alarm so the door automatically opens for your family's safety.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Jean, Oct 13th, 2005 @ 5:28am

    Re: Keyless Entry for the home

    Adrian, our remote died and Lowes says the company doesn't make them anymore (Quickset?) Do you know where we can get one that works? No one in Erie, PA seems to seel them and we need it for a wheelchair bound family member!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Jim Rose, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 11:10am

    keyless locks

    try a true keyless lock, Biometric (fingerprint) lock NO KEYS no fob to carry around. Install your self. Made in USA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Jeremy Walpole, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 2:26pm


    As the owner of IHK SECURITY (ihatekeys.com) I too hate that jingly, pocket filling experience of keys. I have been keyless for the past 7 years. I own and operate a security company that has the latest in Keyless locks. Makes going for a jog keyless. Coming home late after some cocktails keyless. Having other family members and friends enter my house keyless and the house is always locked as all the locks automatically lock for you and you don't need keys.

    Jeremy Walpole

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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