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Door Locks:  Biometrics Come Home

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Biometrics Come Home

Key Features:
  • Uses fingerprint recognition to unlock the door
  • Stores data on up to 50 people
  • Powered by 4 AA batteries
  • Easy installation
  • Around $200 from various online and home center stores (2008)
  • Pricing as of 2008.
Ask For:
  • SmartScan deadbolt
Learn more about Kwikset:
by Deborah Holmes, Ebricks.com
Biometrics, specifically fingerprint recognition, are now available to the average homeowner with Kwikset's SmartScan deadbolt lock. The technology is gee-whiz, and the price -- around $200 -- is even better.

This state-of-the art lock records fingerprint data, converts it to a user-specific mathematical formula, and allows access to up to 50 unique users. Data is stored in the device and controlled by a system administrator. Whoever enters the first fingerprint into the memory becomes the system administrator, but this can later be changed by the administrator. The administrator can also add or delete users via the lock's built-in control panel.

Three levels of access are allowed -- unrestricted access for homeowners and family members; temporary access on specific days only; and restricted access, which allows entry on specific days and times. The device records and reads sub-dermal fingerprints located beneath the outer layer of skin. This data cannot be duplicated and is not affected by cuts, bruises, blemishes or dirt. Once enrolled in the unit, unlock the door by swiping your finger under the sensor.

The biometric deadbolt is self-contained, and so does not require any hard-wiring for installation. It's as easy to install as any standard deadbolt, according to Kwikset. The only tool required is a #2 Phillips screwdriver. The four double A batteries that power the lock should last about a year under normal use. The device warns when batteries need to be replaced. And just in case, the lock can be opened with an emergency back-up key.

The lock is available in bronze or satin nickel finishes.

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