Copyright © 1996 - 2015 Dr. Alan J. Pierce
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By Alan J. Pierce EdD
Providing Classroom Resources on New & Emerging Technologies
As I write this review the temperature outside is 26 degrees. Even at this extremely low temperature my granddaughter goes to High School without a coat. Her reason is simple, she doesn’t have enough time to go to her locker, unlock the combination lock, put her stuff away, and get to class on time. She is not alone; on days we pick her up so she doesn’t have to take the bus most of the kids coming out of school don’t have coats.
The idea of a smart lock that opens using an app on your cellphone is quite exciting. The Master Padlock 4400D is built for indoor use only and it opens using a smartphone app. When you are in range of the lock all you have to do is press the middle button and when it turns green pull down on the lock shackle. Master Padlock also has a similar model for outdoor use (4401DLH) that works the same way. You can also open these locks by entering a set combination on their “keypad”. You press left, right, up, or down in a specific sequence. If you get it wrong the lock will email you that a wrong combination was pressed.
When the middle button on the face of the lock glows yellow it is time to replace the battery. The replacement is a CR2450 button battery. You can only replace the battery when the lock is open but they do have a simple process for you to use to bring external power to the lock if you ever have a dead battery.
Reasons to Drool
You can instantly open the lock by just pressing the middle button on its face. When pressed it will glow blue and then turn green telling you to pull down on the lock to open it. It will only stay ready to be pulled open for a few seconds before it relocks on its own. In the app you can give or You can also open it using the combination by pressing the Up, Down, Left, and Right in a specific order.
Not So Cool
The lock uses Bluetooth for communication and therefore you don’t have to be that close for your smartphone to allow you to open the lock. During testing I found that my smartphone could, at times, be up to 40 feet away from the lock and still open it if the middle button was pressed. They do have a "Locker Mode" setting on the app that locks out your smartphone. In my opinion for this lock to give real security and operate using your smartphone it should use Near Field Communication rather than Bluetooth.
Master Lock 4400D Smart Bluetooth Padlock