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Earth-shattering tech: Smart lock system protects cabinets' contents from quakes

To help mitigate the damages sustained during a violent earthquake, a company called Open Mind Innovations has debuted a new smart lock device designed to keep cabinet doors shut during seismic events. Dubbed the Smart Lock System, this wirelessly activated cabinet lock not only aims to innovate the way in which someone’s valuables are protected during a natural disaster but also just took home Z-Wave Alliance’s top prize at its recent Internet of Things developer competition. Its haul? Z-Wave Alliance membership and access to Z-Wave IoT-ready 500 series developer kits.

The Smart Lock System is outfitted with a motion-activated sensor that activates its cabinet locks as soon as it begins to feel strong, violent motion, keeping everything inside from exiting the cabinet and potentially becoming damaged. Each Smart Lock System lock is controllable via an owner’s smartphone, directly on a security system, or from a companion remote.

“By securing drawers and cabinets based on a certain level of motion, this smart lock serves a unique purpose in mitigating damage from potential disasters, and could benefit other industries beyond the smart home,” said Z-Wave Alliance Executive Director Mitchell Klein. “This submission represents the genius of Z-Wave: With over 1500 products in the market, you don’t have to build something an entire ecosystem to succeed.”

Though the Smart Lock System was designed for cabinet use, its can be applied to virtually anything with doors that open — and not just to protect against natural disasters. If a user wants to keep a particular cabinet or room off limits, the Smart Lock System allows them to shut the door and wirelessly control whether or not to open it. Additionally, each lock also features a backup catch plate that allows the unit to still successfully lock even if the door wasn’t shut correctly.

“Our research in the market has consistently shown that Z-Wave is one of the leading wireless technology protocols,” added Open Mind Innovations CEO John Gerhardt. “It makes sense that connecting our smart cabinet lock to other Z-Wave devices that might be helpful in a disaster will provide peace of mind.”

Production only recently began on the Smart Lock System, meaning it’s not entirely known when the product will become available for purchase or how much it will cost. With a figurative pat on the back from Z-Wave Alliance — and a revolutionary concept — it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see the device pop up in homes early next year.