With a legacy of selling locks for more than 175 years, ERA trusted UniKey to design their first smart lock for the UK market, responding to British homeowners’ calls to revolutionize the lock.
ERA has been selling state-of-the-art locks in the UK since 1838. In 2016, “state-of-the-art” means connected, and British homeowners are ready to bring smart technology into their locks. ERA has a legacy of excellence to protect as they strive to meet the changing demands of their customers. In order to incorporate a best-in-class tech experience to their locks, they needed a partner who understood the unique challenges of the UK market.
While smart locks have gained popularity in the US following the release of the UniKey-powered Kwikset Kevo in 2013, the UK hasn’t seen the same level of adoption. Deadbolts, which are commonly used in the US, are rare in the UK where nightlatches are the most used style of lock. The engineering and regulatory challenges to adapting smart technology to a nightlatch lock form factor were substantial. ERA had to find an established firm to help them tackle these challenges and uphold their legacy by bringing the first smart nightlatch lock to market in the UK.
"We have been a trusted provider of state-of-the-art locks for homeowners in the UK since 1838, but the time has come to throw away the key. By working with a great partner like UniKey, the ERA TouchKey will help revolutionize the lock industry for British homeowners, making home entry easier and more convenient without sacrificing security." - ERA CEO Darren Waters
ERA chose to partner with UniKey, the technology company powering the first smart lock in the US, to bring their vision to the UK. UniKey was selected based on their history of being pioneers in the industry, and their record for delivering best-in-class products. The result of this partnership, the ERA TouchKey was first demoed at CES in 2015.
The ERA TouchKey will be the first Bluetooth smart lock in the nightlatch design to reach consumers in the UK. The engineering challenges were tackled by a team from UniKey working closely with ERA to make sure the product would meet and exceed the needs of British homeowners.
UniKey has since worked with ERA to create a new industrial design concept for the lock so the leading-edge technology on the inside is reflected by a striking case on the outside. ERA also relied on UniKey for management of the manufacturing process to get all of the pieces in place for a launch by the end of 2016.
When the ERA TouchKey reaches consumers this year, they will be greeted with a distinctive, and distinctly British, lock that brings ERA’s state-of-the-art dramatically forward.
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