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Davis, California

Monday, September 20, 2021

Tech Tips: Never lose your keys

Do you find yourself perpetually losing your keys and getting locked out of your house or apartment? It’s even more troublesome when your roommates are gone for the weekend and there is no one to let you in. You could spend the night making calls, or you could invest in a more convenient way to lock your door.

Instead of keys, use your fingers.

Biometric locks have been around for years, but are only just starting to enter the consumer market. Some people buy them for the added security, as it is nearly impossible to fool a fingerprint lock. Others just buy them for their helpfulness, choosing convenience over convention after misplacing their key ring too many times.

Biometric locks work by reading your unique fingerprint on the lock’s touchpad. It takes a couple seconds to scan and confirm, and then the lock opens and you are in; it is that simple. Simply place your finger back on the scanner to re-lock the door. Most biometric locks even allow you to add multiple prints to the permission list, so that only the people you choose are able to enter.

It seems too good to be true and far too sophisticated to be that simple. Although installation is fairly easy, it is recommended that a professional do it for you. You add your fingerprint to the system by allowing it to be scanned. It is then converted into a numerical algorithm and saved in the lock’s database. Now when you attempt to unlock the door, your fingerprint is scanned and compared with the data stored in the system. Trespassers or unknown fingerprints will not be able to open the door, especially since most fingerprint locks are deadbolts.

Biometric door locks cost anywhere between $200 for a lower-end, standard deadbolt model, and up to $1,000 and above for more advanced, secure systems.

NICOLE NOGA can be reached at science@theaggie.org.


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