Skip to main content

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

smart lock system stays locked in earthquakes 44883348  remote home control on a digital tablet or phone
scyther5/123RF
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.

Rick Stella
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Rick became enamored with technology the moment his parents got him an original NES for Christmas in 1991. And as they say…
The best smart home devices for 2023
The X2 Omni dock up against a wall.

With hundreds of incredible products available, it can be intimidating to piece together a smart home. From smart displays and thermostats to smart light bulbs and video doorbells, not only are there tons of categories to browse, but each category is filled with highly reviewed products that can be difficult to distinguish from one another. If you’re in the market for a new smart home gadget or are just starting your smart home journey, there are tons of factors to consider.

If you need help navigating all the products, here’s a look at the best smart home devices of 2023 across a wide variety of categories. It’s hard to go wrong with products from big names like Ring, Arlo, Amazon, and Google, but if you need a bit more guidance, here are some of our top picks.
Voice assistant

Read more
Top ways smart tech can save Thanksgiving dinner
zoom thanksgiving setup guide

 

 

Read more
Are keyless smart locks safe?
A person opening the Yale Assure Lock 2 with their Apple Watch.

Upgrading your traditional lock to a smart lock is a great way to bring futuristic security to your front door. These gadgets allow you to interact with your lock using a password, fingerprint, smartphone app, or even voice commands, making them the perfect fit for large families or households with frequent guests. Instead of making several copies of your keys, you can simply give your visitors a code.

Smart locks come in a variety of formats, and one that’s grown increasingly popular is the keyless smart lock. These are exactly what they sound like -- smart locks that lack a keyhole entirely. Keyless smart locks rely exclusively on passcodes, fingerprint scanners, and other electronic access methods. But are keyless smart locks as safe as normal smart locks? And how do keyless smart locks compare to traditional smart locks?
Are keyless smart locks safe?

Read more