Uber, Airbnb, Taskrabbit, and Lending Club; four very different apps with one thing in common: their shared ecosystem, which is better known as “The Sharing Economy”. This very same economy has been “disrupting established business models to usher in a new era of peer-to-peer, access-driven businesses” since 2008. And thanks to this economy and modern technology, costs of goods and services have gone down as a direct result of individuals sharing their assets and products at a national level through globalized apps like Turoand ThredUp, and it appears that this is only the very beginning for this collaborative economy.

By 2025 the sharing economy is expected to be worth 335 billion dollars; 20 times what it is today. Ravi Gururaj, chairman of Nasscom, explains that “the sharing economy has spurred ‘micro – entrepreneurs’ and facilitated the creation of new markets and economic activity where none previously existed.” Just think about it, all it takes to become an UBER driver is a clean background check and a relatively new car, and as unemployment rates rise more and more, people are looking for ways to earn money through their underutilised assets. It’s because of this that certain tech companies are beginning to develop tools to democratize their software and applications in an effort to help the sharing economy flourish into an ecosystem that could potentially be anyone’s game.

Between consumers, entrepreneurs, and businesses, the implementation of democratized access control could potentially disrupt an already disruptive economy. To put it simply, this sharing economy that a majority of us have taken part in, could become a greater and more convenient influence in our everyday lives. With the right piece of technology,  profitable ventures of sharing personal and commercial property could be automated and set-up to allow anytime-anywhere access to these products. Leveraging the same kind of technology as seen in the Kevo smart lock, such as eKeys and controlled access, the future of the sharing economy could prove to be quite lucrative for all who choose to invest in sharing goods and services. Here’s how:

For the Consumers: Expect Convenience

As consumers, we go through several different points of access (office, home, and car doors) every day without even noticing. However, if you’ve ever rented a room from AirBnB, you’ve usually had to wait for the host to give you access to the room or apartment. With democratized access control, this is a process that could actually be eliminated as certain technology, such as the same eKey cloud technology that Kwikset’s Kevo smart lock operates on, could potentially be used here. Hosts will discover the simplicity of sending eKeys to their renters, and the renters will love the convenient and instant access to their rooms. This sort of technology has the potential to be supplemented in many other verticals such as car rentals, ride-sharing, and even retail! Just imagine how simple life could be if this technology made its way to merchandisers and was applied in a similar fashion to the tech that runs Amazon Go stores. Consumers could pull up a stores app, purchase an item, and receive a digital key that would allow them access to their item in the store; making the coveted grab-and-go experience a reality for all shoppers.

For the Entrepreneurs: Anticipate Innovation

For entrepreneurs, the time of getting into the sharing business has arrived. With smart access control technology, anyone can create their own smart lock powered sharing service. Say you’re a handyman who wants to start a small business where you can rent out your tools to neighbors, or even other handymen.  Or perhaps you’re a bike or car owner who wants to rent out your vehicle for extra cash. This is now a possibility with democratized access control. You would merely have to allocate the access to your renters through designated eKeys, which would be connected to the powered lock. What’s more, can you imagine what this kind of technology will bring about once self-driving cars hit the market? Using smart access control, your car could navigate throughout town and unlock itself for those looking for a ride. With the eKey as a proof of purchase, your users can freely access your shared assets, and you can effortlessly profit from an otherwise underutilized resource. With smart technology, the future of this access economy is shaping up to be a win-win for all.

Businesses and OEM’s: Expect More Control

For access control businesses and original equipment manufacturers, expect more control over the development of your prototype. Through the utilization of democratized access control, leading manufacturers can experience faster rates of development, lower development costs, and an easy pathway to enterprise scalability post prototyping. We envision a development kit that contains all of the sophisticated technology mentioned above, as well as Passive Intent and effortless scalability, resulting in a painless hardware integration. Moreover, tech integrators will find faster rates of development as they can skip over the process of software development

Sharing is Thriving

Roughly seventy years ago Joseph Schumpeter, a world-renowned Physicist, predicted that perfect competition would not be nearly as relevant to our economy so much as the innovation of start-up companies and the competitive technology they choose to implement will be. While we watch the state of our economy unfold into an ecosystem full of sharing applications created through start-up companies like Uber and AirBNB, we can see that this 1950’s economist was certainly onto something. Year after year access control technology has grown smarter and more applicable to worldly applications. Now, more than ever, we have the greatest opportunity to use it as a means of benefitting our world AND economy. To learn more about how democratized tech can transform our economy visit unikey.com.

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