Case Studies

Smart Access Lock

Our customer set out to develop the world’s most advanced smart access product designed for the mortise lock format for commercial buildings. Replacing keys with smartphones, smart cards, or smart passcodes, our customer is changing the way people seamlessly and securely access their buildings. Beginning with a focus on creating an iconic look for the product, our customer’s next step was to find the right partner to engineer and develop the product for manufacturing without compromising its unique industrial design.

Engineering and Development

The challenge

This was by no means an easy feat. There were several elements that increased the complexity of the product development. The main interface design on the front of the lock – the ‘puck’ – would have to be jet black, with a smooth and curved face, and house the electronics. This included the “dead front” capacitive touch interface, the HD camera, wireless communications, and power management. The puck needed to integrate with the lock mechanism to function flawlessly, withstanding daily use as well as the natural elements. This required rigorous material testing and high-fidelity prototyping to ensure durability and functionality in extreme weather. Custom developed firmware and software engineering would be required to ensure the user experience was implemented to the client’s standard; this would include the wireless operation of the camera and communications.

PCH solution

Requiring a solution that encompassed each of these elements, our customer quickly recognized they needed more than a design engineering team. They needed a development partner who would respect and preserve the unique look and feel of the product while executing perfectly the mechanical and electrical requirements of the design.

The PCH team created a meticulous development process plan that ensured that no critical issues were left unchallenged. The plan involved rigorous investigation into the touch interface, touch capacitance, human variables and environmental variables to fully understand the implications and risks.

Our customer looked to PCH to identify and solve for risk factors. We did this by creating iterative prototypes of each component, feature set, and subsystem. The PCH team conducted water-dunking, thermo-cycling, drop testing and ultrasonic welding trials to ensure durability and reliability.

The result

The result was an ADA compliant, award-winning product that preserved the industrial design intent, hitting aggressive cost targets and insuring the long-term viability of the product in the market. Delivering a seamless molding that prevents water infiltration, an impact-resistant puck that withstands tampering, and a camera that captures 99% of all target users, the PCH solution brought to life our customer’s vision of creating a strong, simple and stunning product.