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A Lock is a device intended to discourage or prevent theft of valuable goods.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

Typically locks are used to secure portals or doorways with chain and a difficult to break or activate locking mechanism (...often with a secret code or combination). However, locks come in a great variety of sizes, shapes, and types from gigantic bank vault locks to the smallest luggage locks. Some are truly imposing and difficult to take apart with explosives or industrial tools while others may be fairly simple and easy to break by hand or manipulator, really more of a visible record that luggage or valuables have been broken into.

Selected Lock Types[edit]

  1. Biometric Electronic Lock
  2. Combination Lock
  3. Keypad Electronic Lock
  4. Magnetic Electronic Lock
  5. Metabolic Electronic Lock
  6. Psychometric Lock
  7. Tumbler Lock

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

The first locks are invented almost as early as the first tools. This typically occurs within the TL:1-3 Technological Epoch.

The earliest locks tend to be rope or rawhide knots tied in such a way as to preclude untying of the knot except with great effort and much time. The Gordian Knot of Terran fame could only be disabled by cutting it apart with a bladed weapon.

The early knot barriers often develop into wooden pin locks, which consisted of a bolt, a door fixture, and key. Early keys often had dramatically different shapes than more modern conceptions of keys. Lock boxes are often the first choice for storage of valuables.

Mechanical locks tend to predominate in this period. They are simple and often very tough to defeat.

Growing electronic and microelctronic industries enable a wide variety of new lock technologies, many of which don't mature until later technological epochs.

Electronic locks separate the locking mechanism (bolts to hold a door shut for example) from the verification system that determines the lock can be opened. The verification system can be connected to external computerized database. This makes the locks more flexible, but introduces a new points of vulnerability. Most electronic locks have an automatic locking in the event of power failure; more expensive versions have their own power sources (either primary or backup).

The first Magnetic Electronic Lock prototypes tend to appear at the beginning of TL:7-9 and mature before the end of the tech epoch. A few societies are known to have experimented with and mostly perfected such devices at TL:4-6, but most employ such devices at TL:7-9 and the IISS classifies them as such.

Early Makertech combines with sophisticated electronics to create new, more advanced locks.

The first prototype biometric and metabolic locks are developed at the end of the TL:7-9 technological epoch. The technology doesn't really mature until TL:10-12. Early technology models can be fooled or otherwise mitigated with various technologies. By TL:13-15, the technology is incredibly difficult to defeat or bypass.

More sophisticated bio-tech makes new technology locks incredibly difficult to defeat.

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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