What is a smart lock?

It is an electronic smart lock for locking and unlocking a locker, usually with an access RFID media or a mobile phone (app). It is also called digital locker lock, electronic locker lock, also smart locker, RFID locker, or card locker. It is an integrated part of a smart locking system used for personal storage lockers in modern, user-centric workplaces and other environments (e.g. Wardrobe locker, end-of-trip locker, office locker, etc.) and for different delivery and pick-up types of lockers. To ensure higher quality, reliability, and sustainability, some electronic smart lockers are powered by low-voltage electricity (Metra smart locks included).

There are three main types of electronic locks for lockers:

  1. Electric-motor-driven locks. They provide the best reliability and functionality to the lockers. Depending on the solution,  the locks can be unlocked at the locker door on the central Display or RFID Reader. They are powered by low-voltage electricity.
  2. A solenoid locker lock. It has an electronic-mechanical locking mechanism, where the magnetic force is used to release or hold the lock. With fully packed lockers, where locker doors pressure the lock from the inside, the lock can have difficulty unlocking. They are powered by electricity.
  3. Battery-powered locker locks. They are usually cheaper than Electric-motor-driven locks but need two to four Li-Ion batteries to function. The batteries in the locks need to be replaced regularly, which creates an unneeded costly, and time-consuming task, especially if hundreds or even thousands of such locks are used in a company or facility. It also represents an environmental hazard for the organization, as all the empty batteries need to be properly (safely) disposed of.

The electric-motor-driven electronic locks and the solenoid locks, in combination with other smart locking components (locker controller, network controller, etc.) compose a smart locking system or smart locker system (lockers with hard-wired smart locking system). Therefore, the Metra Smart locker system enables remote management in real-time of all your smart lockers, from the lock (locked, unlocked, etc.) and locker status (vacant, occupied, expired, etc.) to individual locker user activity and else.

Smart locker systems are most popular used in automated parcel delivery as self-service parcel lockers in retail delivery, smart storage solutions for offices, changing room wardrobe lockers in sports and leisure facilities, help schools and colleges to provide safe and secure student hallway lockers, etc.

Metra’s electro-motor-driven smart locks for lockers can be used with any preferred RFID access media (i.e. Employee or student badge, etc.), smartphone (access credential app via Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi), or other. The unlocking is easy, contactless, and thus hygienic, which became especially important after the Covid-19 pandemic.

So, a smart locker is a locker that is unlocked (and opened) in a contactless way and can also be managed remotely and in real-time (along with its locker user and locker user’s access media/locker “key”). As such, it can be remotely and instantly adapted to any dynamic of use and working, whether traditional, open-office, hybrid, in shifts, or else.

When deciding on which smart locker system to use for your lockers in your modern, sustainable and user-centric office, building or facility, you must consider different factors. The chosen solution should save you time, money, storage, space, and (possibly) rental space (think shared locker use). It should optimize your access, security, and other systems. Your lockers should adapt to the current workplace or facility dynamics, to individual users’ preferences and their dynamics of use, thus enabling a seamless and positive user experience. It should also be a future-ready solution, to grow and be easily adapted to your growing organization and business needs. Last but not least, your smart electronic locker solution should be sustainable and eco-friendly throughout its life cycle.

To find out how Metra Smart locker solutions can optimize your storage-related overhead costs in your office of facility, save time and space, elevate the wellbeing and user experience of the employees and other locker users, make your office, facility, and business future-proof, and reduce the environmental impact of your business along the way, contact us now.