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MyKey Brings Access Control Home, But Faces Sluggish Sales
While sales for the MyKey 2300 RFID door lock are hot and getting hotter in Asia, so far the device has gotten a cool reception in the States.
Aug 10, 2006—When GlobalComm Suppliers, a cell phone distributor near Philadelphia, moved into a new office space in 2004, it didn't want to rely on the low-tech, key-driven deadbolt on the door to protect the office's high-tech contents. Therefore, the company sought out and found a lock it believed would be tougher to crack: an RFID-controlled deadbolt. If that sounds similar to the RFID access-control systems used widely to secure offices buildings, that's because it is. But rather than installing a large network of linked, centrally controlled interrogators (readers), GlobalComm found a small, single-door unit designed for home or small office use, called MyKey 2300.
The product consists of a small, 13.56 MHz interrogator linked to a deadbolt that is mountable on any standard doorframe. After installing it, GlobalComm saw an opportunity: While MyKey—manufactured by a Korean company called Firstech—had been selling well through distributors and retails shops in Singapore and Malaysia for a few years, it did not yet have a U.S. distributor.
Web site and started selling MyKey 2300 just under a year ago. Sales, however, haven't been as brisk as the company had hoped, paling when compared with those in Asia.
Frederick Chong, who calls himself the "digital locksmith" for MyKey2300's Asian distributor, The Gadget Home, says his sales of the lock system have been increasing for the past 18 months. The company now sells about 40 units each month—more than all other types of keyless locks it sells, combined.
O'Donnell says one of MyKey's marketing hurdles in the United States has been its unknown brand. U.S. consumers, he says, look for security and lock products bearing such recognizable brands as Schlage. He also chalks up the soft sales to a general "distrust of new things and a distrust of products coming from Asia." Though many consumer products are made in Asia, he explains, such products tend to carry a negative—but false—connotation in America for being cheaply made.
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