Streamlined lock designs offer more installation options

This is part two in a series on locks in hotel guestrooms. Click here for part one: Electronic locks as data-analysis tools.

As with anything associated with technology, the parts within hotel door locks are getting smaller. This has brought about a streamlining of lock design, with the large door lock sensors of yesteryear slimming down and even often being placed within the body of a door, out of sight, out of mind.


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“The physical makeup and design of [locks] are embracing more minimalism,” said Stephen Pollack, VP of marketing for global security group Kaba. “Not functionally, but physically locks are now smaller, with more hidden pieces to make them more aesthetically pleasing.”

Bob Keck, VP of operations for Y!kes, said the look and the digital technology are essentially all that has changed about locks over the years, even with regards to the early battery-controlled locks, which are now simply living longer. “The idea of the handle and the pin in the jamb hasn’t changed since the 1920s,” Keck said. “They’ve changed the look and feel more than anything.”

A streamlined look also means more options, especially when designers aren’t working around a giant sensor affixed near a handle. With this in mind, hotels are also more open to installing electronic locks in areas away from the guestroom, such as the pool, fitness center and parking garage. 

“By ensuring that these areas are only accessible to staff and registered guests, security is greatly enhanced,” said Lihong Wu, president, North America for Assa Abloy Hospitality. “Also, there are various back-of-house areas and departments to which only hotel personnel are authorized to access, such as housekeeping, maintenance, foodservice and storage. These can all be managed efficiently with an integrated electronic locking system.”