2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Lockitron turns your smartphone into a house key

By

October 4, 2012

The Lockitron works with any mobile phone

The Lockitron works with any mobile phone

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Lockitron is an awesome new piece of technology designed to let you unlock your house using your smartphone. Technology like this has been around for a little while with the UniKey, but what makes Lockitron so interesting is that it installs on existing locks in a user's home. This means the installation process take less than a minute.

Lockitron installs over almost any deadbolt, so users do not need to add anything special in their door. Besides installing more quickly, this also allows renters to put the device on their door. The part of the deadbolt that turns slides inside the Lockitron, and it unlocks at the user's request.

The device is always connected to the internet using Wi-Fi, which allows users to get access to it from anywhere in the world.

Lockitron can be used differently depending on what device the user is using. For iPhone 4S and iPhone users, the locks can open automatically as the user approaches them, thanks to Bluetooth 4.0 technology.

For Android phones with NFC, they can simply wave their device in front of the Lockitron, and it will turn the deadbolt. Other internet-enabled phones can use it via their mobile web browser. Even users without smartphones can send a text message to Lockitron to unlock their door, for a monthly fee.

The main user can grant access to guest, so they can come and go freely for a time period defined by the owner. This is great if friends are coming over or if someone is house sitting while the owner is away.

The device has a knock sensor. If someone knocks on the door, the homeowner will receive a notification informing them of an arriving guest. It also has an unlock sensor, so if someone uses a traditional key to gain access to the house, the main user will be notified.

Lockitron runs on two AA batteries which should last about a year. It will send an alert when the batteries are running low. Obviously, having the device die when a user is away would end poorly, so this notification is quite important.

Prospective buyers can get a Lockitron at an introductory price of US$149 including shipping and handling to the United States. The Lockitron will retail for $199 when it officially goes on sale next year.

The developer's video below shows the Lockitron in action.

Source: Lockitron via Uncrate

About the Author
Dave LeClair Dave is an avid follower of all things mobile, gaming, and any kind of new technology he can get his hands on. Ever since he first played an NES as a child, he's been an absolute tech and gaming junkie.   All articles by Dave LeClair
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7 Comments

Smartphones have a battery life of about 1 day. So, assuming you spent a whole day busy (especially friday), went out clubbing, got lucky and got back home late the next morning, you might have a phone drained of battery and a house that wont let you in to have a much needed shower?

Nantha
4th October, 2012 @ 05:42 pm PDT

Since 1 in 4 robberies are now a smartphone, the thief now has access to your house as well. Brilliant!

VoiceofReason
4th October, 2012 @ 09:43 pm PDT

I usually get 2 days out of my iphone battery life, and the security concerns can be handled by a mere passcode requirement. I like the idea it can just fit over an existing dead-bolt. I see a huge business opportunity for real estate agencies that use lock boxes that currently hold the home owners keys.

msimon
5th October, 2012 @ 10:11 am PDT

It appears to be of plastic construction. Not so great when going up against a brute force attack by a man with a crowbar in a hurry.

Truthfully, any pin/tumbler lock can be opened by a guy with a picking set. So we probably ought to think about security in a whole different way when inventing future devices and systems.

flylowguy
5th October, 2012 @ 11:50 am PDT

This is great. Esp keyless entry. If you go out and let your phone go dead so you are locked out, you probably won't get lucky. The guy who can remember small details like that will.

DrMarty
5th October, 2012 @ 12:44 pm PDT

"can send a text message to Lockitron to unlock their door, for a monthly fee."

monthly fee to open my door! amazing!

would that be on usage? or annual?

when the credit runs low? I'll be warned by being locked out for few minutes "notification"

Berrou Ammar
5th October, 2012 @ 06:36 pm PDT

flylowguy, plastic construction will not matter, it is on the inside (unless your burglar is trying to get out, and can't understand the turn screw)

And lock pick do not work on everything, I know, it's part of my job. (However, a cordless drill will open nearly any keyed lock in seconds)

Remote controlled deadbolts are available at Lowes Hardware Stores (made by Genie) and have been available for years. They work off your garage door opener transmitter. (And I though Genies's version was ugly) They are both huge, run off batteries, and look nothing like lock hardware, but at least the radio version (genie) is a one time purchase.

kellory
7th October, 2012 @ 11:49 am PDT
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