At a time when many jobs, products, and services are being “disrupted” by advanced technologies, it follows by implication that the self-storage industry will also evolve. Technological disruption in self-storage, however, is likely to yield exceptional benefits to the consumer.
Here are three key areas where individuals who rent self-storage units will see massive changes and huge convenience benefits in the near future as these technologies are deployed, tested, and rolled out to the public.
1. Mobile Apps
Automotive manufacturers are already bragging about how their SUV’s door locks can be engaged, engines started, or physical location determined by way of a simple mobile app. Such an app can make managing your self-storage unit simpler as well. Before long, mobile apps will allow users to lock and unlock their unit’s doors. Need to send your teen over to fetch some old sports equipment? Textbooks? A piece of furniture? Would you be concerned that the unit might not have been locked properly? No problem if you can make sure with an app that your unit is secure.
Another great evolution will be live-streaming. Make sure nobody is in your unit or, better yet, help loved ones find items remotely!
Just as fast-food diners can order their meals at kiosks instead of at a cashier counter, the future of self-storage units involves the use of kiosks. Not only will these highly advanced, high-tech kiosks make signing leases, obtaining locks and insurance, cashing checks, and payments easier and simpler than ever before, but our kiosks will be AI-equipped so that self-storage facilities never close. With anytime access just around the corner, kiosks will also manage and oversee on-site activity, with constant video surveillance triggered by motion, noise, and other triggers.
Connected to control, security, and service centers, these self-storage kiosks not only improve convenience and service but add a substantial element of security and safety to premises and facilities, without losing contact with humans who can always intervene.
3. Good Locks
With the advancement of smart locks, expect self-storage units to evolve to the point where the days of lost and misplaced keys are something of the past. Through the use of smart locks, self-storage units can be engaged and disengaged remotely, by a timer, mobile app, etc., all at the convenience of the unit’s user. And since electronic locks are less likely to be damaged or tampered with the same way that vintage locks can be forced open, old-school bolt-cutting criminals will become historical figures in the same way that gun-wielding robbers are less common in bank branches than they are at ATM locations.
As technology continues to advance, self-storage facilities will evolve as well. Incorporating all three of these areas means storage units will become even more convenient for consumers to monitor, manage, and access—even remotely—in the same way that vehicles can now be managed from the convenience of a mobile app. But, more importantly, these advances will result in greater safety for customers and improved security measures for the goods placed in these units for safekeeping.