Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Schlage Bows Z-Wave Wireless For Door Locks: Genius Or Retarded?

Designing residential control systems requires a lot of technical skills, and more than a smattering of wisdom. My first reaction to the news of Z-wave door locks is to cringe.

Schlage Plans Z-Wave Web-Enabled Door Locks

Schlage is adding an automated twist to its well-known door locks: a wireless, Internet-enabled product that can be locked, unlocked and monitored via PC, cell phone, or any other device with a Web browser.

Rule #1 of automation design is "just because you can do something, it doesn't mean that you should!"

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Flatland Pastor said...

"But those guys are 'hackers' not 'crackers'. How could they pose any problem for us?"

The question/comment that led to the Schlage computer technologies consultant quitting the Z-Wave project.

Incidentally the same comment that convinced the dinosaur VPs to sign off on the project.

For a deeper analysis see any number of Dilbert strips involving the pointy-haired boss and/or any of the company execs.

This one's got "It seemed like a really good idea at the time" written all over it. I'm also willing to bet a steak dinner that it started something like this in the boardroom - "We need a new product line associated with computer tech to drive sales and boost our image."

Wrong-o guys! You need to make locks that work! Contrary to popular 'thinking', computers aren't the answer for everything. Some 'old tech' will survive in the 'brave new world'.

Charles Farley said...


I build a jammer to keep you from opening your doors.