Wireless Deadbolt, Burglar Alarm Access. What's Wrong With This Picture?

It's one of those worrisome judgment calls. When a vendor puts out a ludicrously bad idea in a news release dated April 1, do we assume it's intended to be a joke or that this is the same kind of bizarre thinking that we see examples of all year round? Black & Decker is forcing us to make that decision.

In a statement issued Wednesday (April 1), Black & Decker introduced a series of wireless devices that can unlock door keyknobs and deadbolts as well as deactivating burglar alarms, presumably at the International Security Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas.

"Black & Decker's unique motorized deadbolt throws the bolt electronically and provides the ability to lock or unlock doors via remote control, Web-enabled mobile phone, security system touch panel and/or a secure Internet connection," the statement said. "This approach is an advancement over other competitive offerings that still require a person to manually turn the bolt to lock or unlock the door."

The statement references the anticipation of more burglaries because of the recession. Well, this is certainly a sharp improvement over the crowbar, which generally can only disable the doors and not the security system and has a high noise-to-shutup ratio. Everyone knows that wireless access—especially for a consumer product—is quite secure and no respectable intruder would dare attempt to wirelessly access such devices without authorization. That's against the law.

And, yes, the connection here to retail technology or E-Commerce is ultra-thin, other than the fact that retailers have enjoyed more than their share of wireless intrusions. But it's a hard story to resist.