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Locked out

Source: Phoenix UX, 5 November 2012

Open and lock your front door through the use of your smartphone

The evolution of smartphones and technology never cease to amaze me. If you look through the blogs on our website we have blogged about ŒDigital Wallets¹ ­ everything stored in one place on your smartphone, such as your driving license, receipts/vouchers, cards etc. which would reduce the need to carry your Œreal¹ wallet around with you.

Now, I thought this article I read ties in perfectly with the concept of using your smartphone to reduce more items you would have in your pockets/purses. your house keys.

The Company Apigy who develop the Lockitron aim to Œrefine wireless door control¹ and have made a product where you can open and lock your front door through the use of your smartphone. If you have an iPhone 4s or iPhone 5 you will be able to have a keyless entry using Bluetooth 4, which senses when you are approaching your front door. However, if you have another type of smartphone you will be able to use the app to lock and unlock your front door.

For those who do not have a smartphone, you are still able to use this device using their SMS system, it lets you send text commands to the Lockitron website that will remotely unlock the door. Obviously I had reservations about this system in terms of security, battery dying on smartphone, app not working, theft of smartphone, would I be locked out? So many thoughts ran through my head, so I decided to dig a little deeper and research more into this concept.

First of all, from what I gathered from their website is that you purchase their box which installs right over your existing mechanical dead bolt lever, I know what your thinking, every lock is different how would it work for your own lock? I was thinking the same, but they have explained it quite well on their website about the different types of locks and what you would need to do for your specific lock, they say it should not take longer than a few minutes to install the box over your lock. Below shows a picture of what it would look like over your lock. You then download the Lockitron app, and the interface looks like a simple lock/unlock icon where you have the control to open or lock your door.

Lockitron have also gone that one step further by allowing you to have a Œapproved list¹ where you can select family/friends that can also open and lock your door via the app or Bluetooth. A message also notifies you immediately when the door is unlocked so you will know when someone you have already approved has come in or out the house. Even if you are at home and someone knocks on the door, you have a built in sensor and your phone will buzz to alert you. I wonder if it could tell you who is at the door? That would be pretty cool.

Locktron state that their batteries last for a year and it notifies you when your battery is low but you can still use your physical key to open the door the old fashioned way.

This looks like it will be hugely popular in America with the first Lockitrons being shipped out in March 2013 already sold out at a price of $149. The question is will it take off in the UK? We will come to the point where we would not need anything in our pockets apart from our smartphone?

Locked out