02
Oct
unnamed

The last time we heard from Lockitron the company was trying to sell a $300 smart deadbolt lock that you could open with NFC. This time Lockitron is taking a different, less expensive approach. The new device is mounted on top of your existing deadbolt, allowing you to control it without buying and installing a whole new lock. The product isn't quite ready to ship, but the company has a handy video demo ready to go.

The box is fairly easy to install on your door, and it runs on AA batteries that last for about a year. Inside are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules that are used to manage the lock remotely. Using the Lockitron app (or SMS messages), you can lock and unlock your door from anywhere. You can even grant access to other people to manage your door from their own phones. This would be useful if you're out of town and have someone housesitting, for example.

lockitron-unit android-app

Using Bluetooth 4.0, Lockitron can even automatically unlock when you approach the door. If you misplace your phone, you can also change the password on your Lockitron account. The device has a number of other tricks, like push messages when your door is unlocked, when someone knocks, or when the batteries are low. It uses an Arduino controller, so the more industrious among you can invent more ways to unlock doors.

The device is currently available for pre-sale, but it costs $149 and doesn't ship until March. The company won't charge you until your Lockitron ships, though. The website claims over 1300 Lockitrons have been ordered, so you might want to get on this if you're interested.

[Lockitron]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

  • superstepa

    So if someone steals your phone they can easily get access to your house? Great idea!

    • Sorian

      According to the video, if you lose or misplace your phone, you can remove access via website.

    • spydie

      If you lose your keys (usually attached to a keyring and often with other information on the keyring, or often in your ladies purse where all her ID is), they likely know where you live and where the key fits. While this isn't as secure as a push-button combo lock on your doors like I have, it's slightly handier in that it will unlock when I walk up to the door as opposed to having to punch in my 4 digit code. Also, right now if I want a pet-sitter in the house, I have to either give them my 4-digit code (never) or program the lock temporarily with a secondary code they can easily remember. With this you can remotely unlock the door for them, or, like it said, give them temporary access with their phone. I think this is extremely cool. A little expensive considering a push-button coded lock is about $80, and you already own the brains (your phone), but extremely cool.

      • DCMAKER

        dude 4 codes? that is easy to brute force if you know how to work those locks. Also the stupid key pads are easy to see. Someone at night can put up a tiny remote camera close or afar and see your code....not hard.

        • yankeesusa

          Unless your the president of a big company or have lots of valuables that everyone knows about the chance of someone picking your house and using all these tech tools to break in is very slim. If someone really wanted to break in they could just break a window or brute force the whole door and not even mess with the lock. At this point anything can be broken into, the point is giving the police enough time to get there if anything does happen. If your that worried about someone putting a camera to see what your pin code is then trust me, you need more security than a deadbolt.

    • yankeesusa

      Thats a possibility. Just use a passcode on your phone like they recommend you do anyway and unless the person who stole your phone knows where you live you'll have a little time to change the password on your system.

  • Philippe

    If someone steals your keys they can do it anyway. With this they can have a password or other alternative identification system

    • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

      There's a difference, though -- your key likely won't have your address written on it. Your phone probably has all your info, including your address inside. That said, I don't find it more dangerous than keys. However, I don't find it very convenient. My house uses a fingerprint unlocked deadbolt, so I never need to bring my key and never have the problem of forgetting to bring my key. With this product, I will still have to bring my phone.

      • ElfirBFG

        You're not the market then. The market is the group of people without fingerprint and retina scanners on their front door(see: most people).

      • Digital_Dan

        I could cut your finger off quicker and easier than taking your phone or keys.
        Currently I hold the record for digit detachment in my region.
        Watch out!

      • yankeesusa

        Yes but your wallet or purse have your info. At this point you can go around this a hundred times. There is a flaw for everything, but think of it this way. If your smart, your phone has a lock on it so if someone ever steals it they wont have access to it. If they manage to unlock your phone by that time you could have changed the password online and done a remote wipe on your phone. If your keys and wallet or purse were stolen there is nothing you can do except change the whole lock and what if your out of town. Then your out of luck. At this point if you don't think this is safe then don't buy it.

      • Dummy killer

        You can password protect the info biatch

    • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

      I wouldn't disagree with you guys, but:

      1) If a random person finds me
      on the street, there's no way he would know that my finger is needed to
      open my door. And, if someone knows that my finger is needed, he has
      done enough research to break into my house -- nothing can stop him at this point.

      2) If someone follows me to my house, again, nothing is going to stop him breaking into my house, no matter what I use.

      Look,
      I am not saying this product is useless. I am just saying that it's not
      as convenient as I thought. I personally do not think it's not safe
      enough -- but there's no denial that there's a difference between losing
      a phone and a key. And, to yankeesusa, I agree that my wallet or purse contains my info. But I think most men put their wallet in their back pocket, and their keys in their side pocket, which means, losing your keys does not always mean losing your wallet. Women, however, are more likely to put both their wallet and keys into their bags, and I think you are right about that.

  • TKfromCLE

    I saw this, or something like it, on Shark Tank.

    • yankeesusa

      The shark tank device was called unikey which is supposed to be on sale in november i think. I don't know the main differences but this lockitron is in competition with them. I think the unikey though you will have to replace your whole lock.

  • DCMAKER

    awesome so now your front door can be brute forced in a matter of no time wahoo! At least a good like requires skill to pick! They come with double serrated pins with false sets and other stuff so at least you need skill for that. Now someone can download a program to brute force it lol. Awesome lol

    • yankeesusa

      You can brute force anything. But most people aren't going around brute forcing things unless their criminals. If you live in an area that has a lot of crime you'll need a lot more than just a deadbolt.

    • michael interbartolo

      the original brute force is a foot to kick in the door and that still works with or without this lock so what is your point.

  • GraveUypo

    yeah, i'd love to have my house hacked into.

  • Locker

    Lockitron works only with doors equiped internally with a very specific deadbolt. Most doors worldwide do not have such deadbolts.

  • BigAl1825

    Seems like a bad idea to leave your key at home and go jogging with your phone. I've yet to see a phone as small as my house key. When I run, I carry nothing but a key. How much would it suck to get home and find out that your lockatron was jammed, out of juice, etc.? Most people would probably end up keeping a key under the doormat just in case.