2023 Trends and 2024 Predictions in the Professional Security and Lock Market

To spot trends and plan for opportunities in the smart lock space, we must trace the subtle evolution of the past year.

2023 Trends and 2024 Predictions in the Professional Security and Lock Market

Photo courtesy of Kaadas.

On the surface, 2023 seemed like a quiet year for smart lock innovation. But if we look deeper, a seeming stagnancy reveals some important lessons for the industry. To spot trends and plan for opportunities as we step into 2024, we must trace the subtle evolution of the past year.

Reflecting on 2023

Matter was probably the biggest surprise of 2023 – not thanks to its impact on the professional security and lock market, but due to the lack thereof. Matter was created to streamline smart home device setup, interoperability, and connectivity, but actual Matter-compatible devices have been painfully slow to appear, especially in the smart lock category.

As The Verge reported in June, this is in part because smart lock manufacturers are protecting the user experience: multiple manufacturers have declined to roll out Matter broadly due to its limited adoption and capabilities. Considering the hype around Matter leading into 2023, its lack of success contributed greatly to the overall stagnation of the smart lock market.

Consumers and manufacturers are fed up with complexity and right now, Matter can’t deliver simplicity. The ecosystem is pitifully small, there’s no backward compatibility, and control is very basic – any functions beyond lock/unlock must be performed through the device’s own app.

Contrast this with the more established Z-Wave ecosystem, which boasts pervasive industry adoption, total backward compatibility, and sophisticated control. It seems like the industry was too quick to jump on the shiny new standard in the market.

Regardless, the industry does need unifying standards. Consumers now expect interoperability and seamless functionality among their security devices, not multiple interfaces. Manufacturers and other industry stakeholders must continue to work together to create universally compatible solutions, ensuring device interoperability across different platforms.

In that process, however, we must not lose sight of existing, successful technologies. I anticipate renewed innovation of Z-Wave alongside continued development of the Matter ecosystem as the industry strives to meet rising interoperability expectations.

On a brighter note, we did see one area of significant acceleration in the smart lock industry: MDU adoption. Research from Parks Associates has found both rising demand from residents and increased interest from property managers in smart access solutions.

This shift is largely driven by the changing demographics and preferences of residents, alongside a surge in new construction of MDU properties and renovations aimed at enhancing property amenities. The success of smart locks in this market segment is owed to property managers and developers of MDUs who listened to consumer demands and sought out solutions to appease them.

This transition towards more tech-integrated living environments reflects a broader consumer expectation for convenience, security, and smart home integration that will continue to affect all segments of the evolving industry.

Smart Lock

Photo courtesy of Kaadas.

Smart Lock Predictions for 2024

In 2024, manufacturers must strike a balance between product innovation and affordability. Inflation and rising interest rates have left consumers very price sensitive as they’ve grown more technologically savvy.  To grow, manufacturers must deliver cutting-edge technology at price points that remain accessible to a broad consumer base.

This trend will accelerate the already rapid smart lock adoption among MDUs. Property owners and managers are looking to purchase feature-packed, user-friendly security solutions in bulk.

To propel this growing market, I expect a wave of new smart locks with features specifically designed to meet MDU needs, such as easy installation, high-quality performance, multiple methods of access (i.e. face ID, fingerprint, PIN code, traditional key), and Z-Wave compatibility.

I also predict continued innovation in the video doorbell category. There is clear potential for smart locks integrated with surveillance components, and companies at the forefront of the market are likely to produce some comprehensive video doorbell/smart lock solutions this year.

However, these advanced features can drive up costs. Since consumer spending is forecast to fall in 2024, manufacturers must also battle to maintain a competitive price. This balance between innovation and affordability is crucial for sustaining growth, expanding market reach, and remaining relevant in the industry.

Looking Ahead

As we transition from 2023 to 2024, the professional security and lock market is poised for growth, innovation, and addressing emerging challenges. Our organization remains optimistic about the future developments that we’ll see in this space.

With predictions pointing toward integrated solutions, increased MDU adoption, and continued industry collaboration, all of us are looking at a dynamic year ahead for the security and lock market.

Nick English is the CEO of Kaadas North America.

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