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Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
16th October 2019 Issue no. 479

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'Smart' lock turns smartphone into bike key

* Bitlock.jpgBitlock lets cyclists lock and unlock a bicycle with nothing other than a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone.

Marketed as the "world's first keyless bike lock," Bitlock's founders have turned to Kickstarter to make their prototype smart security device a reality.

As long as the user has their smartphone, they won't need anything as old-fashioned as a key to lock or unlock a bike and, thanks to other smart features, will be able to check on its current location via GPS.

But as well as location, the supporting smartphone app will let users track routes, performance and fitness and, most intriguingly, allow others to borrow the bike when not in use.

Just as you add friends in Facebook, Bitlock allows you to set up a group of trusted friends who can use their app to locate and unlock your bike when they need two-wheeled transport in a hurry.

Smart locks may do away with keys but using electricity to perform a manual task also means that it needs a power source or battery and Bitlock is no exception. However its makers claim that because Bluetooth 4.0 uses so little power that the lock will be good for five years' use between charges.

Batteries aren't particularly fond of the rain or extreme temperatures either but its makers also claim that all electrical components have been weatherproofed and that the lock itself is made out of reinforced, heat-treated steel so that it cannot be cut with a hacksaw or bolt cutters. And, as for the issue of a smartphone running out of juice and therefore being unable to unlock the bike, users can type in a 16-digit code in an emergency to unlock the bike instead.

And the cost for all of this smart technology? The campaign, which launched last week is looking to raise $120,000 by Thursday, November 14 - more than $50,000 already pledged and counting - and is offering early-bird backers the chance to secure one for $99. If the campaign is successful and the Bitlock goes into full production, it is expected to retail for $149.

30th October 2013




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