Android Central

Lockitron has recently announced their latest and greatest smart deadbolt access system, complete with remote door unlocking, per-user access control, access via SMS or NFC, and a knock sensor. There's a dedicated Android app to handle everything, while the door unit itself connects over your home's Wi-Fi network. This model is an iteration on the considerably clunkier, more expensive model launched last year. 

While RFID access control has been available in business situations for a long time, Lockitron is clearly way more viable for home situations. With Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility, Lockitron can unlock automatically as you approach the door, which is great for when your hands are full with groceries. 

Lockitron has already blown way past their funding goal, but you can still preorder one for an early-bird special of $149. The first batch should be shipping in March 2013. What do you guys think? Totally awesome, or are there way too many potential security issues with a system like this? 

 

Reader comments

Lockitron announces new NFC, Bluetooth, and SMS-friendly door unlocker

58 Comments

KWIKSET locks for homes are a joke to real criminals which will probably use a window or back door anyways. So I don't see the risk and think it's an awesome idea.

Seems cool! The walk up and unlock is the best feature, it's like the feature on some cars when you walk up and the car starts and doors unlock. I'm getting one.

I think I am ordering one also.....But that feature atm isn't available for Android. Hopefully that goes in before shipping.

afaik, its available on phones with bluetooth 4.0. the GS3 has that but few other android phones do atm.

On the FAQ it says it isn't available for Android phones yet but they hope to fix it when Google releases the APIs.

Definitely awesome. Seems very well-thought out. The only thing that I'd have to come to terms with is still using (or not using) the doorknob lock.

There have been a number of times where I have approached my door with 6 or 7 bags of groceries. If my door can unlock for me to avoid me setting down 4 bags, reaching in my pocket, fumbling to find the right key, only to have to pick up those same bags before lurching into my own house, I will take it.

Or...having the ability to unlock the door if say, it's -12 one February morning and my car door freezes shut while I'm outside scraping ice, and my house key is naturally on my keychain which is in the ignition, warming up my idling car, otherwise having to wait 45 minutes on my porch while AAA comes to unlock my car for me.

This is more useful than you might think.

I have one key in my life, my car key. If I could get rid of that I would be in heaven. I Have code locks on my house, RFID for work, just need $30,000 for a new car and I am golden.

What car doesn't require a key? Even the ones that auto-unlock require that you have the key within proximity. You find a manufacturer that lets you open and start your car with a phone??
I can unlock my doors and remote start with OnStar (from my phone), but I can't actually drive the car unless I have the keyfob in my pocket. :-/

Ever had your hands filled with bags and couldn't get to your keys? Or how about being chased with a guy with the hockey mask on and a big knife? We've seen the outcome of this problem too many times.

"Or how about being chased with a guy with the hockey mask on and a big knife?"

LOL!!! This was hilarious.

The day that happens you would had just loaded up this awesome new ROM...except BT 4.0 was broken on it...no problem for now right? Wrong.

How about the scenario where the guy with the mask and big knife waits for you to enter your home and then just comes up and knocks? You go to the door to see who is there, you forget BT4.0 is enabled, door unlocks and bad guy gets in.

Now imagine all those times someone knocked on the door and you sneekily approached to look through the peep hole not intending to answer if it wasn't someone you know. As you approach the door it unlocks. Your cover is blown!

Hopefully the system disables BT4.0 unlocking when the knocking sensor is triggered. They should pair this up with a camera that will send a photo of whoever is knocking.

Is it really that hard to imagine that this has benefits beyond for those who are walking, empty handed to their door? Did you watch the video? Did you miss the part about being able to check whether your door is locked and lock it remotely? Great for those of us with kids who forget once in a while. How about the part where you can grant access to people without having to have the all-too-obvious hide-a-key? This means that when I'm out of town, I can just grant access to my niece to feed my dog, rather than giving her a key to lose (she's lost three keys but she NEVER lets her phone out of her sight.)

The only people I can think of who wouldn't find this useful are ones who never leave the house.

Actually yes. The house key is the ONLY key I currently have. I'm driving a Prius with a keyfob and keyless entry. Removing the key means I have 3 things I'm carrying. My wallet, my phone, and my fob. If someone jacks my phone I can remotely swipe it. If someone jacks my car keys I can have it reprogrammed. Wallet is really the only vulnerable point and I use checkcards now. I never carry cash anymore. I can remotely deactivate those with a single call.

I'm just wondering when we can drop the keyfob. My keyfob is HUGE! Right now, I can remotely unlock my car and pre-heat/cool with my phone, but I can't use it to drive away...

You know, I used to think the same thing until I recently bought a new car with the Kessy system, where I can just jump in my car without stopping to pull my keys out. It's especially helpful if you have a large box or two large handfuls of grocceries that you're carrying. I thought the feature was dumb until I actually starting using it. Once you do it's one of those little features that you really begin to appreciate.

No its not hard to use your keys but some people have their hands full and would just like to turn a knob and get in their house instead of messing with finding the key on a key ring, trying to turn the key with a bunch of bags in your hands and at the same messing with your kids while your at it. If you don't like the idea then dont' get it. Lots of people like the idea, especially in areas where getting in your house faster is sometimes a necessity due to safety.

I also like the walk up and unlock, but I hate to make light of a very bad technical issue with mobile tech, but I don't keep my bluetooth on all the time for battery savings. If the walk-up function works on BT, then I would still typically have to pull out my phone, unlock it, turn on BT, wait for it to turn on, wait for it to connect, and finally get in... and then turn off BT on the phone again. I think the walk up and unlock will be more of a pain for me than keys and I doubt I would use it in reality.... at least until battery technology improves.

Especially considering the fact that if you're pulling out your phone anyway, you can just launch the app and slide to unlock faster than waiting for bluetooth to connect.

I get your point. I use bluetooth with a GoGroove FM transmitter to get hands free phone and listen to music, books, etc from my phone in my car so I usually have my bluetooth on when I get out of the car and turn it off when I get inside. Would work great for me or anyone using bluetooth in their car.

For the record, i don't find bluetooth takes all that much power.
In most phones its built into the wifi chip, which most of us leave on all the time anyway.

You have a really crappy phone if having BT on is hitting your battery that hard. As long as its not connected to anything the impact should be no more then a couple % per half a day.

I do find that leaving BT on affects my battery consumption (OG Evo), but I've never done a daily comparison to see how much. When most of us need chargers to get through a 'normal' day anyway without turning off data-gps-wifi-bt-dimscreen-godmode, every little % helps. (my cell strength is horrible as well, that's one of my main drains)

Great Idea. I think the way it can be used on existing hardware is what makes it affordable. Very convenient, not having to pass out keys to a guest is convenient and safe. Sign me up, I want one, probably two.

The ultimate question is what happens when the batteries in that thing die and you left your keys inside because you've grown accustomed to this thing? :D

The same thing that happens if you lock your keys in your car...you call a locksmith. The difference is this sends a message to your phone when the battery gets low so you have time to change it (or at least pocket your key) before that happens.

If you watched the video the unit sends you a message long before the batteries are too weak to unlock the door. If you are lazy and choose to ignore the message and not change the battery, well then it's your own fault.

I didn't...but I'd only use this on a side or back door for a guest, dog walker when out of town, or just in case I lost or left my keys. So, I wouldn't be too concerned about the looks like some of you tech geeks/lazy bones should be.

This looks pretty cool, tho I don't see it working with the older lock on my door.

Also, the walk-up and unlock is a nice feature, from the OUTSIDE. If I'm at home, and in proximity to my door, I don't want it unlocking simply because I'm nearby.

Remotely checking through wifi is cool, however. One of the first steps to the smart-house.

If done right it should be able to distinguish between your phone being inside vs outside, but nothing in the video indicates they handle that situation properly.

So don't carry your phone to the door to check the peep hole unless you have another dead bolt lock. It might unlock, letting jack the ripper in.

Keyless automobiles have this pretty well figured out, and can distinguish between a key fob in the car and one outside of the car. They pretty much make it impossible to lock yourself out of your car. The car won't lock (and will beep horn) if you try to lock with key fob inside.

But aftermarket solutions like this for homes probably have a way to go before they have all those situations figured out.

$150 Is still too high for something that amounts to a motorized wireless toy.

Amazing this company didn't learn its lesson with its $300 failure of a predecessor.

hint: its not your design, (its your greedy markup)

R&D asshat. People like you piss me off at your lack of thinking things through. Seriously have you ever started up a company? We aren't talking Google who has massive cash resources. This company has to:

1. pay for a storefront\company building.
2. Pay to keep the lights on.
3. Development hardware.
4. Pay their employees.
5. Prototype development. (The first device costs a lot, then it drops from there.)
6. software tool development.
7. Servers and internet service that the app calls home to mama.
8. Insurance
9. Marketing

And that is just off the top of my head. I'd be a hell of a lot less pissy about your post if you didn't come off as this is greed....just because your sorry butt can't afford it.

it wont be adopted until its under $100. PERIOD. Even then its a long shot. I personally think $50 is the sweet spot for national adoption.

Theres two ways of selling your product. High markup and sell less, or low markup and sell more. Or get super lucky like apple and do both. the markup for this toy is too high.

Get your company's name out there by having one in every house, not by selling a couple hundred. ESPECIALLY in a recession.

Oh, come off it.
They are priced competitively with comparable units, and well below any that allow hands free and remote (internet) control.

Most other units require you carry yet another pushbutton fob. Do just a little on-line shopping before you start screaming greed.

That thing better have a powerful motor in it. I know my front door deadbolt requires quite a bit of wrist strength to open. I could see the unit failing to turn it and popping off the housing. Most of my doors have double locks too. I wish them success but doubt it will gain traction.

I've got schlage nexus lock on my front door. Lets me check and unlock from my phone (or any web browser), and it also supports communication with my thermostats. The only problem is that it costs money to use the network service (got a free year with it). But the best part, is that it has a numeric keypad, so, its not dependent on my phone.

Great point. I just purchased the schlage that only uses keypad and that cost me $115. I have no problem paying $150 for something that offers the features of the $300 model but free. Of course you can also go with the unikey once that is released and since its all a built in system you don't have to worry about your current deadbolt being able to work with it.

Cameron Robertson needs to button that top button there is an unspeakable hair monster trying to get out.

Althoug this is a great idea I think the unikey that was on shark tank is a little better since its an all in one design that replaces your current deadbolt and you don't have to worry about having it being compatible with your deadbolt.

Well if thieves really want to get in they'll just kick in the door or break a window.
But for the wife who loves to not carry her keys for some reason. But is never without her phone (no comment on if that phone has any battery left at any given time). This would be a great thing to have.

What would be more interesting to me would be if I could *lock* the door when I'm away, via wifi or whatnot. I'm OCD enough to worry about whether I locked the doors when I'm about a mile from the house, without fail. I always do, and I triple check before I leave, but being able to when I'm away from the house would be all the better.