Anyone who has used a padlock knows how much of a burden they can be. Whether it’s the keyhole-equipped contraption that requires you to stumble through your key ring or a combination-based lock where you not only have to remember the combination, but pray that you actually input it correctly, it can make you clinically insane.
That’s where Noke hopes to help improve your life. This Kickstarter claims the honor of being the world’s first Bluetooth smart padlock. It’s one of those things you didn’t think you’d need until someone actually showed it to you. Noke uses Bluetooth to communicate with a smartphone app. The app acts as your digital “key,” and the Noke can automatically sense when you are nearby and unlock your lock for you.
It also makes it easy to give access to your friends or family. Instead of having to give them a key or a complicated password to remember, you can simply give them access through the app and it’ll work for them just as it does for you. It’s even safer in that regard — instead of worrying that someone you don’t totally trust has your combination forever, you can grant them one time access and make sure they only get access to that lock just that once. You can customize access for different people, too, so good ol’ mom can get permanent access while your friend Butchie stays limited.
One of the first pitfalls that came to mind for me was “what happens when your smartphone dies?” Thankfully the designers at Fuz thought that out carefully, and had good mind to implement a click-based method that would let you get into the lock in the event that you can’t use your smartphone.
The lock’s internal battery is rated for more than a year’s worth of use, so you won’t have to constantly worry about whether or not it has enough juice to remain useful. The battery is user replaceable, thankfully. Also, should the lock be used for outdoors you won’t have to worry about it getting wet thanks to the lack of external buttons and ports, and a waterproof build.
It all sounds like the makings of a great, well-designed product, and it makes me wish I had the need for a padlock in this day and age. If you do need one, though, this isn’t a bad way to go. Noke is being offered at $59 for the cheapest option, which is said to be $30 cheaper than its targeted retail price.
You can add $20 more if you want a bike mount and cable to go along with it. The project is currently sitting at $66,393 out of its goal of $100,000 as of the time of this writing, and there’s still 29 more days to go. As good as Noke looks to be we’re sure it’ll hit that goal in no time. Should it succeed the project owners are targeting a February ship date, but as we all know these things can be as flakey as a good bowl of cereal.