Smartlocks are in vogue nowadays because it just makes so much sense. It’s harder to lose than a metal key and of course all you need is a connectin to open the lock. Combine all that with the possibility of remote-unlocking and it’s a pretty good idea. The TEO kickstarter project proposes bringing smart capability to the basic security of a padlock.
By using Bluetooth LE the TEO uses an app to lock the device. The hinge and the design make it a very unique piece of hardware; not your typical padlock. It includes a privleges management function that shows you all of your locks on a map, with an additional sharing feature that allows you to share access to other TEO users. This is useful for those times when you left something at the gym and a friend is in the area so they can pick it up. All you need to do is grnt them access for as long as they need and thec can retrieve your stuff.
The hardware design is at least as robust and break-in resistant as anything out there. It is weather resistant so that all of the features remain operational in inclement conditions. The design comes from the Canadian firm Form3 and it will be manufactured by California-based Heliox Tech.
Using bluetooth mean that there are going to be some concerns for the battery. TEO says that in sleep operation that the final product should last around a year for the finished product. There is a smartphone application that enables one to monitor the battery life so that the device isn’t unawares drained and your then stuck with a lock that can’t be opened. The company also says that they will offer support to change out exhausted units and fix bugs that sometimes makes the locks unresponsive.
The company has already raised $34,000 of it’s $165,000 goal to get the product started off. A pledge of $79 gets you one of the initial production units and the shipping date is planned for December 2014. It isn’t intended to eliminate the need for standard padlocks anytime soon. However this has some apparent applications for bike sharing companies and others that have the need for a distributed solution that can be managed centrally.