Development of the smart lock market has become active in Japan recently. Led by the launch of the 'Akerun' smart lock by Japan-based Photosynth, other vendors including Sony and Denmark-based Poly-Control have also stepped into the segment. Since smart lock systems can also apply to commercial markets such as real estate and the household service sector, the smart lock market in Japan is expected to surpass JPY1 trillion (US$8.05 billion), according to Digitimes Research.
Smart locks are automatic entrance/exit control systems utilizing smartphones or tablets to activate door locks. Most systems currently use Bluetooth for communications.
The Akerun smart lock is gaining momentum since installation cost of the system is low, while its operation is simple, Digitimes Research noted.
To cash in on the emerging trend, Sony has launched its 'Orio Smart Lock' system in cooperation with venture capital firm World Innovation Lab (WiL). The Orio will be more competitive than the Akerun in price since its price is only about half of the Akerun.