A smart lock sounds like it would be a great idea. A lock that you can unlock using your phone, a lock that you can generate codes and give to guests like friends and family, it almost seems like smart locks are the way of the future, but recently a situation involving Airbnb homes and smart locks have hinted that maybe that future isn’t quite here yet.
In a report from TechCrunch, it seems that a small number of Airbnb guests/hosts were locked out of their homes due to a smart lock getting bricked following a bad update. The lock in question is made by Lockstate and is part of Airbnb’s Host Assist program, where it is a lock recommended by Airbnb because it lets hosts generate a one-time code that their guests can use for the duration of their stay.
However like we said, a bad update to the lock’s firmware ended up bricking the device and made it impossible to reconnect to the company’s servers, meaning that pushing an update to the lock to fix the problem would not be possible. Speaking to Threatpost, the company is asking customers to send their locks back to them for a replacement, and that they are offering them a year’s worth of free access to its portal service as part of their apology.
While it is true that any smart lock could have ended up being in Lockstate’s position, it does highlight some of the problems that comes with owning a smart lock, and that maybe at the end of the day, a good old fashioned lock and key might still be the best answer.