Smart locks are great, and they’ve made their way onto a variety of homes. Vacation home owners use them to grant guests access to the house without having to physically let them in, for example. Home owners use the locks to ensure their kids can get inside without remembering a key. Some apartment complexes have even added these locks to their residences. That makes a recent botched firmware update particularly concerning.
Some owners of the Lockstate LS6i smart lock were recently on the receiving end of an over-the-air firmware update that essentially bricked their devices. The affected locks lost their ability to connect with the Lockstate servers and, therefore, their ability to work at all. The company confirmed this unfortunate event, saying to The Verge that it only affects a ‘small subset’ of users.
Some of those affected users were forced to send the smart lock back to Lockstate to have it repaired, and that means have to acquire and install replacement locks in the meantime. Other users have had their service restored without this step, though, according to Lockstate’s statement. The exact number of affected smart lock owners and how many had to send the lock in for servicing isn’t clear.
In return for this extreme hassle, the LS6i owners will get a year’s premium subscription on the house, and they won’t have to pay for the shipping to send the locks in for repair. It should be noted that these locks retail for $550 USD — the LS6i isn’t a cheap trinket, but instead something that people buy when they’re serious about protecting their property.
The issue highlights an important reality: if you’re using a smart lock, you should have a backup plan in place in the event that your lock stops working for one reason or another. Whether this means choosing a smart lock that has manual functionality or just keeping a spare ‘dumb’ lock in storage is up to you.
SOURCE: The Verge