On our most recent IoT Podcast, Billy called in with what I thought was a simple question to answer. He wants to know when his door is locked or unlocked, a feature that’s table stakes for nearly any smart lock. But then I realized: Billy doesn’t want a smart lock.
Instead, he wants some type of sensor on a traditional lock to capture and report on the lock state. That’s completely different, of course.
Sadly, after researching, we couldn’t find a single off the shelf solution for this situation. Businesses that want to spend money on an electronic lock system can determine the lock state but consumers? Nope.
The challenge here is that no company makes a door sensor that fits within the door frame to see if the bolt is present or not. And that’s likely for two reasons.
First, smart locks provide this feature already and companies would rather sell you a whole lock system rather than a less expensive sensor. Because of that, there likely isn’t a big market out there for a product that would meet Billy’s needs. Second, it would be very difficult to get power, a radio and a sensor in a product that fits inside a door frame. I suppose some type of plunger system or perhaps a magnet that attaches to the lock bolt could work. But again, getting power to the radio in a way that’s simple for consumers to install would be the difficulty.
Unfortunately for Billy, and any others who want a lock with smarts but not in a standard smart lock, other than some type of DIY project, we came up empty. If any readers have ideas, please let us know in the comments.
To hear Billy’s question in full, as well as our discussion on the options, tune in to the IoT podcast below.