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The Exciting Evolution of Digital Locks

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by | Jul 13, 2023 | Locksmith Industry | 0 comments

Digital locks have allowed security technology to make excellent strides in recent years. Also known as smart or electronic locks, you no longer need to worry about keeping track of a standard manual key that can be picked easily. But have you ever wondered how digital locks came to be? How did technology change so quickly that you can now use something simple like a code, card, or fingerprint to access a location? If you keep reading this blog, you will learn all about the evolution of digital locks from the 19th century to the present day. 

The Evolution of Digital Locks: The Beginning 

Keys and locks have, in some form, been around as far back as ancient Assyria, where the earliest form of a lock and key consisted of a wood pin tumbler. As for the beginning of their digital evolution, experts pinpoint that date to 1873, when James Sargent invented a preset timing lock, followed by a time delay clock in 1880. Sargent’s late 19th-century inventions mark the beginning of smart lock technology. 

Digital Locks in the 20th Century

The next stage in the evolution of digital locks didn’t come about until 1975, a little over a century after Sargent’s initial invention. Specifically, this was the year Tom Sornes invented the keycard. This hospitality industry was revolutionized when these keycards were first circulated at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.

Following its successful debut, more hotels invested time and resources in obtaining this technology for their guest rooms. By the 1980s, biometric data had started to be implemented in government settings. However, it would be some time before digital locks became available outside of commercial environments. 

evolution of digital locks keycards hotel

Digital Locks In The Present Day

Following the keycard, digital locks began to take other forms. These iterations included being able to use a code or biometric data. In the early 21st century, manufacturers that got their start with traditional lock and key systems have also been transitioning to produce smart locks. Around the same time, digital locks became available for residential properties. Most digital locks run on batteries, but many can now be integrated with WiFi and Bluetooth. Here are just some notable digital lock brands that will keep your home safe: 


Back in the 19th century, Yale locks were manufactured for bank security purposes. Now, in the present day, Yale also produces digital locks. These locks utilize advanced technologies like keypad codes and WiFi integration with smart homes, among others. 


Kwikset’s launch in 2007 was part of a more recent phase in the evolution of digital locks: applicability for residential home security systems. The Kwikset’s smart key was specifically designed to allow a user to easily rekey a lock themselves. Today, this brand still sells many variations of digital door locks for homes and businesses. 


Finally, August is a brand that uses WiFi and Bluetooth technology for smart home integration. This brand was also made specifically to produce digital locks for home security purposes. 

Mobile Locksmith Can Give Your Locks A Digital Upgrade!

We hope this brief overview of the evolution of digital locks has given you much-needed insight into how digital door lock technology has ended up where it is today. Whether you’re running a business or just want to keep your home safe, digital locks are worth considering for your doors. If you are keen to implement this technology in your home but want to ensure it is set up properly, you can always ask a professional locksmith for help. Luckily, if you live in Texas, all you need to do is contact us at Mobile Locksmith. Our team of professional locksmiths will ensure your smart lock home security system is up and running in no time. 

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