Lockitron: The High-Tech Lock For Mobile Phone Users
by Jeannie Hart on Thursday, October 4th, 2012
High-tech locks on the market boast of keyless entry or biometric readers. However, I live in a hundred year old building and I have keys, many keys. Most high-tech locks are designed for new homes or commercial applications — enter Lockitron.
Lockitron is a new type of lock that can retrofit a standard cylindrical deadbolt and tie it to any cell phone: not just a smart phone, any mobile phone. The internal mechanics seems deceptively simple, with installation consisting of slipping on a back plate and fitting the Lockitron over your current deadbolt. The software is the true genius in the Lockitron. As you would expect you can lock and unlock your door with your mobile phone but there is so much more. The Lockitron uses push notifications when someone knocks, unlocks your door, or the batteries are low. Trust me; this is helpful when you live in an apartment where your landlord makes surprise visits while you are at work. True story. In addition, you can allow access to friends, co-workers, or guests simply by adding their phone to your approved list for the time limits you set.
Methods of Entry
The Lockitron uses three methods for entry. First, if your phone is not a smart phone, for a small monthly fee you can enable text-message access. Second, the Lockitron uses Sense. If your phone is Bluetooth enabled you just need to be in proximity to the Lockitron and it will unlock before you reach the door and lock after you have entered. Finally, Lockitron is the most powerful through your wireless network. With built-in WiFi, Lockitron connects to the internet so that when you’re away, no matter how far, you can lock or unlock your door.
By granting access to your visitors, you no longer have to be physically at home to give a house guest a key. Simply allow their phone access for a set number of days. This feature is beneficial if you’re looking at a commercial application, no renovation required and you can give or revoke access to employees as needed.
The features of the Lockitron are phone based however the technology is not. All data is stored on a secure server that boasts of bank level encryption. If your phone is lost or stolen, simply login into the secure site and change your password. This will log out all instances of your account. If the Lockitron loses power, you can still use a physical key to open your door.
Lockitron’s first batch will ship in March 2013 and is limited to 1,000 units. You can reserve a Lockitron for $149. I was the 604th backer with six months to go. I suggest you reserve one before the limit is met.