March 12, 2009 Black and Decker is giving homeowners a way to lock up their daughters when they aren’t even home. The company's new motorized locks are designed to complement the emerging electronic ‘smart homes’. They can be activated remotely and can even directly control home security and automation systems, and vice versa.

In contrast to ‘electronic’ locks that require the user to manually actuate the bolt to lock or unlock the door, Black & Decker’s electronic motorized lock throws the bolt and provides the ability to lock and unlock doors via a RF remote control, Web-enabled mobile phone, security system touch panel and/or a secure Internet connection. Wireless and remote access-enabled Black & Decker locks also feature SmartKey technology with BumpGuard protection that allows homeowners to re-key their lock themselves without removal from the door.

The new systems also feature two-way functionality so that homeowners can use customizable codes to arm the home security system when the door is locked and disarm the system when the door is unlocked. Likewise, home automation systems can be configured to automatically set home lighting, music and climate controls based on the code used to unlock the door. The units eliminate the need for hard wiring as they operate on 4 AA batteries that provide one year of life based on 15 uses per day. They also fit all standard doors and replace all standard deadbolts and are available in three finishes.

Aimed at security conscious homeowners the new systems might even help give OCD sufferers some freedom by allowing them to make sure they’ve locked the house from a remote location – and maybe not. The systems are expected to be released later this year but there was no word on what this kind of home security convenience will cost you at the time of publication.

Darren Quick