From ancient kings using wooden locks to safeguard their riches to modern survivalists erecting panic rooms, humans realized long ago that they had things worth protecting — and they've been devising ways to keep others from stealing them ever since.
And as long as there have been locks, there have been people who — for sinister reasons or simply for fun — are intent on defeating them. The war between locks and pickers has waged for millennia, resulting in a long history of improvements and innovations in the security industry. For example, the first Bluetooth-supported locking system, Kwikset Kevo, arrived on the market in 2013, and it may change the way we think about locks and keys forever.
But in order to understand where the industry is going, you have to understand where it's been. The following infographic illustrates the history of lock and key, one of the safest romances of our time.
Physical metal keys — once donned as an elaborate fashion accessory to indicate wealth and status — are increasingly being replaced by electronic systems, including combination and biometric locks. In the age of connectivity, home access can even be controlled using what has become our most indispensable personal accessory: smartphones. And on that front, Kwikset Kevo is leading the way.
Andréa Ford is a freelance journalist covering technology and other topics. She has a specialty in infographics and previously wrote for TIME Magazine.