Monday, 22 April 2013

Digital Keys Opportunities

In past blogs we've looked at "why" people and organisations will want Digital Keys. We've also looked at "how" Digital Keys addresses problems with the existing access control systems currently available in the marketplace.

In this blog post we are going to explore "the size" of the problems of the existing access control systems currently available in the marketplace.

Just to reiterate from past blog posts, Digital Keys addresses three main problems with the existing access control systems currently available in the marketplace and these include:

  1. Insecurity
  2. Inconvenience
  3. Expensiveness and difficulty to install
So lets look at the most prevalent existing access control system currently available in the marketplace - 'metal keys and metal locks'.

So the question is "what is the size of the insecurity problem with metal keys access control systems?" 

Before even attempting to answer this question, there a few interesting statistics to elude too here;
Statistic number 1. The Ancient Egyptians first invented the lock and key around 4000 years ago (these were made of wood). The Romans later improved on these wooden locks by making the keys and locks out of iron and bronze. Amazingly the basic design of these locks and keys are similar to the modern door locks we use today.

Statistic number 2. According to UK police over a quarter of the house break-ins in the UK are committed by criminals using a technique called "lock snapping". Since 2009, there has been a rise in this technique, which involves applying force and snapping the cylinder in two. You can read more about this here

Statistic number 3. The majority of house locks in the western world cost around $30-50 each.

So now knowing these statistics, lets try rephrasing our question to this:
"How many houses in the world are protecting their assets worth hundreds of thousands of dollars with $30 locks which involve a technology that is around 4000 years old, and which can be snapped in two in seconds, and easily broken into?"
Answer: Between 1 billion to 1.5 billion*

*The consensus on this answer is that its almost impossible to give a more precise answer because there are so many different types of houses in the world and they are especially harder to count in third world countries.

If we look at the US we can get a better answer here. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development from the American Housing Survey of the United States, there are around 125 million houses in the US see more here

So in summary, 'metal keys are a big security problem for houses'. Come back next week as we explore the other industries where metal keys are used, and the "size" of the problems in these industries.

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