Fingerprint recognition, one eye retina scanning for door opening and so on that only appeared in sci-fi movies in the past, have now entered the daily life of people with the rise of smart door locks. According to the statistics of the National Lock Industry Information Centre, there were more than 3,500 domestic smart door lock brands in 2018, and the ‘Thousand Locks War’ has been fully launched.
Last week, Xiaomi’s sub-brand Loock Smart Lock was involved in the shocking incident – ‘open door in the middle of the night’ controversy. Although it proved to be purely a hoax, it also sounded the alarm for the future development of smart door locks. Experts said that starting from the second half of this year, the smart lock industry will usher in a major reshuffle, but safety will be the most important consideration in this knockout.
Midnight Horror Incident
Recently, Qingdao users have used Yunding Technology’s Loock Smart Lock to cause a big sensation in the middle of the night. It is reported that the door of Mr. Zhang, who is equipped with the smart lock of Luhan in Qingdao, Shandong Province, suddenly opened automatically, and awakened the family in his sleep. This news was spread all over the network and was hotly debated.
In response to the above incidents, the Loock official said that after the professional door detection, it was found that the incident occurred due to the deformation of the door, which caused the door to be covered, that is, the door was not really closed, and the door lock was not a problem. Currently, the Qingdao user has continued to use the Loock door lock.
The relevant person in charge of the Loock also responded to the Beijing Business Daily reporter that after the incident, the Loock had contact with the user at the first time, and after self-inspection of the removed door lock, it was handed over to the national lock product quality inspection. The inspection centre conducted a re-examination and found that the Loock Smart Lock met the relevant standards. In addition, she said that the Loock smart door lock cannot automatically open the door. No matter which smart door locking system, the mechanical lock body part relies on the combination of the lock tongue and the door frame to lock the door. Under normal circumstances, when the door is closed, the horizontal handle smart door lock needs to be pressed down to open the door, so that the door can be retracted and the door can be opened. The company officials said, “We apologize for the adverse effects of this misunderstanding, and we will also reflect on the improvement and will do our best to serve our customers.”
Although the Loock incident was a false alarm, it also sounded a security alarm for the nascent smart lock industry. At the end of 2018, the National Quality Inspection Centre conducted risk monitoring on 40 smart door locks on the market, and 15% of them could be opened by small black boxes. Most of the remaining security risks existed. Li Leyan, a staff member of the National General Electronic Components and Product Quality Inspection Centre, said that 36 batches of intelligent door locks contained 36 batches of fingerprint recognition functions, and 10 batches had some risk hazards, and the risk level was relatively high. In addition, smart door locks with face recognition unlocking also have a higher risk.
On May 5th, the China Consumers Association released a report on 29 smart door lock comparison tests. The results showed that only one sample, labelled “Amos”, was opened after being attacked by a small black box. In addition, among the 29 samples, 48.3% of the sample passwords were safe to open; 50% of the samples were safe to open for fingerprinting; 85.7% of the sample identification cards were safe to open. Among them are samples such as Cadiz, Dinggu and Haier.
Zhou Ying, the person in charge of Blue Technology, said that the reason why the smart lock was cracked by the small black box occurred was because there were more than 2,000 companies doing smart door locks, a bit like the O2O group battle of the year, or similar to the early days of smartphones when imitation was rampant. This market is in a barbaric growth period.
With the arrival of 618, smart door locks have once again become a hot spot of concern. During the Tmall Double 11 last year, the sales of the smart lock company completed the role counterattack and became the dark horse for the big category of Tmall building materials. As users’ acceptance of smart locks is getting higher and higher, the trend of smart locks replacing traditional mechanical locks has not been underestimated, and competition has become more intense.
The Beijing Business Daily reporter found that the situation of “Thousand Locks” began to take shape in the first half of 2017. Household appliance companies, Internet companies, startup companies, security companies and traditional door lock companies have poured into this field. After the brewing in 2017, this competitive landscape is particularly evident in 2018. According to statistics, at present, there are more than 3,500 smart lock brands in China, and more than 1,500 manufacturers. It is estimated that by 2020, the sales of smart locks will exceed 32 million sets. Smart locks have become one of the important entrances for the giants to lay out IoT.
Recently, 5G licenses have become the wings of fanning butterflies, and its commercial use will also provide a faster and more stable network environment for smart homes, further driving the linkage of smart homes. Zhao Hongwu, director of China Daily Hardware Technology Development Centre and Lock Information Centre, mentioned that with the rapid development of IoT, AI and smart home industry, the smart lock market has embarked on a rapid development path. “The reason why smart door locks are favoured by many businesses is closely related to their market potential, price profit margin, industry threshold, etc.” said Hongshibin, an observer of the home appliance industry.
Behind the ‘Thousands of Locks’ reflects the popularity of the smart lock industry, and also reveals many hidden chaos in the industry. In addition to the above-mentioned security risks, price war is one of them. Recently, at the 10th China (Yongkang) International Door Industry Expo, some enterprises once again broke the industry’s bottom limit and launched a 99-yuan smart door lock. In addition, many manufacturers reported prices such as 128, 169, 199, 228, RMB and so on. Beijing Business Daily reporter found in Jingdong Mall that the current average price of smart door locks is mostly above thousand yuan but a few hundred yuan smart locks are also not uncommon.
“Behind the continuous fermentation of Loock, it once again revealed the fierce competition in the battle of the thousand locks and the challenges that have to be faced – the completeness of product safety and after-sales service. In the next few years, this market must be Like the mobile phone war of the year, it will experience a big wave of sand” Hong Shibin told the Beijing Business Daily reporter.
Some industry analysts pointed out that the internal and external problems faced by smart door locks gave the industry a chance to reshuffle. Compared with smashing the head into the market, letting the product withstand the test is the next core focus. In addition to the product itself is excellent, the construction of the after-sales service system is worthy of corporate thinking.
The iResearch report shows that consumers need timely and intimate installation and maintenance services, both of which are more than 60%. The smart door lock market is hot, and enterprises value the market potential. Consumers value the safety and convenience of using smart locks, and they are symbiotic. Only when consumers have a pleasant buying experience can the C-end market be opened, and the real fire in the smart lock market will continue to burn.
Zhang Dongsheng, founder of Yunding Technology and president of Loock, also said: “There are more and more practitioners in the door lock industry, but the whole industry is still growing at a high speed. The core theme of everyone is not competition, but the door lock market is done together. The cake is big. It is very important to do the right thing in the right way during the development. The whole industry is surging, but everyone understands that the first is to do a good job, the second is to do a good job, and the third is to do a good job.”
In addition, the future of smart locks may not only be a door lock, but more likely to open the door to life. Smart locks can be linked with the smart home in the home to achieve real human-computer interaction, bringing convenience to users and security will be the most important considerations for smart locks and other smart home businesses. “This requires the company to start from the whole process of research and development of intelligent door locks such as R&D, design, innovation, patents, material selection, etc., to control the safety of products.” Zhang Dongsheng said.
“In 2019, for the domestic smart door lock industry, it is a ready-to-go node, and the industry reshuffle will start rapidly. According to the trend of the general trend, many manufacturers with poor quality or cottage locks will be eliminated by the market in the second half of this year. The emergence of the quality thousand yuan machine will also swallow the market below 1,000 yuan. The head brand effect will be initially highlighted.” Zhou Ying said.
Beijing Commercial Daily – Shi Feiyue