The Future of Locker Security

While it is a fact that locks originated in the Near East, little is known about who invented lockers. The earliest lock operated by a key was found about 4,000 years ago in the ruins of Khorsabad near Nineveh, the capital of ancient Assyria. After the invention of locks, people started to lock their personal and valuable items in lockers.

Technological progress has allowed engineers to deliver reliable lockers secured by keyless electronic locks. These advances provide unparalleled security solutions. The visionaries of Internet of Things (IoT) have a technological roadmap that predicts that physical objects will soon be able to sense, analyze, communicate with each other and interact on their own, without human intervention. Imagine your locker talking to your car or phone and being able to sense your arrival and unlock itself as soon as you enter the locker room. According to the new research from the International Data Corporation, the global IoT market will grow from $1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion in 2020.

Why upgrade your lockers?

Not all lockers are created equal. The majority of recreation centers are still using traditional metal lockers with built-in combination locks or padlock hasps, where users bring their own lock. While this traditional locker is sturdy, there is high-maintenance in assigning the lockers, not to mention the low resistance to graffiti, scuffs, stains and dents. This type of locker was intended for a short- or long-term private use by individuals in public places.

Today, manufacturers offer sophisticated lockers in a number of door configurations that are durable, cost-effective, low-maintenance and include features such as ventilated panels, continuous hinges, integral cross body frames and a wide variety of door materials, including wood, laminate, polycarbonate, plastic, phenolic and glass. These modern solutions are secured by keyless electronic locks that include either a keypad or a radio-frequency identification (RFID) interface. RFID was considered by Kevin Ashton, the founder of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, as a prerequisite for the Internet of Things. With dramatic looks and high-caliber performance, new lockers transform school halls and recreation center locker rooms into exceptional spaces.

Why is it a good time to replace old-fashioned lockers with the best ones the security industry has to offer?

Security is a rising concern. According to the 2014 Business Insider Intelligence Survey, 39 percent of respondents stated that security is the biggest concern when adopting the Internet of Things technology. Upgraded lockers deliver an exceptional user experience, while also offering the highest level of security from inlay doors to robust frames and electronic locks that even offer the ability to track locker usage.

Second, schools and recreation centers should not be lagging behind with outdated technology when everyone else reaps the tangible benefits of using innovative security solutions.

Being an early adopter allows campus and recreation management to turn a disruptive technology threat into a business opportunity. Out-of-the-box locking solutions provide the flexibility to integrate into existing systems and to adapt to the evolving modern space.

In the era of continuous innovation, scientists, engineers and manufacturers are working on creating dynamic integrated systems. In the future, reserving and operating lockers in recreation centers, ordering food at a school cafeteria, granting access to classrooms, school’s events and dorms, will all be possible with a Unique Identifier assigned to both animate and inanimate objects.

We do not yet know the full potential of the Internet of Things’ total connectivity, but the undisputable advantage of IoT is that it eliminates human error factor, saves time, costs and resources.

According to the McKinsey Global Institute 2013 report, “The Internet of Things allows businesses and public-sector organizations to manage assets, optimize performance and create new business models.”

Mila Adamovica is a marketing communication specialist for Digilock, a global leader in electronic locks that use patented keypad and RFID technology. For more information, visit digilock.com.

Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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