Skylock solar powered lock seeks funding

State-of-the-art solar powered bicycle lock packing Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi connectivity + video

by David Arthur   May 18, 2014  

Is this this future of bicycle locks? The Skylock is a solar powered lock packed with technology, including Bluetooth and WiFi so you can lock and unlock it from your smartphone, and the ability to alert its owner if somebody is trying to steal your bike.

You don’t need any keys or a good memory with this lock, Skylock uses Bluetooth 4.0 so you can use a smartphone app to lock and unlock it. You can even use Auto-Unlock so when you get close to your locked up bike it will automatically unlock, just like the latest cars with keyless entry. Don’t worry, if your phone battery goes flat because you’ve been playing Angry Birds too much, there is a backup combination lock.

 

Accelerometers are used to alert its owner if somebody is tampering with the lock. To do that you connect the Skylock to a local WiFi network, so you can stay connected to it at all times. Even if you’re 10 floors up in your office. The sensitivity of the accelerometer can be adjusted so the slightest movement doesn’t set it off.

The other neat trick the Accelerometers can be used for is to alert for help if you have a crash while riding. They respond to the impact and if you don’t do anything within a certain time period the Skylock can send for help.

And that’s why it’s solar powered, so the battery powering the Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity doesn’t go flat. The solar panel is arranged on the outside of the lock and charges the internal battery. According to their claims it only needs one hour of sunlight to power it for a week. Could be tricky in the British winter mind. Which is why it’s just as well they’ve thought about that, and added a USB port so you can charge it from the mains or your computer.

Sounds good doesn’t it? We’re impressed. You can’t buy it just yet though, they’re currently seeking crowd funding to the tune of $50,000, but provided they meet their goal they will be shipping in early 2015. You can pre-order one now for $139 for a limited time, after which it rises to $249. You’re going to have to factor in shipping costs of course.

Check it out at https://skylock.cc/

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Wow.

At first i thought, solution to a problem that doesn't exist, I'm happy with my big dumb chain.

Then I read this -

"SKYLOCK MAKES
BIKE SHARING EASY

Skylock lets you share the location and access to your bike with anyone in your trusted network. With Skylock, you can create and setup your own bike share system. "

So corporate bikeshare / pool bikes would be easy to set up. A bit of a dream of mine, as when lazy colleagues say "but I don't have a bike (to ride the 2km to the meeting)", I always wish we had a pool of bikes waiting to go.

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [591 posts]
18th May 2014 - 12:37

14 Likes

I like this even though I don't have a smart phone. Is that sad or what? Drooling

posted by levermonkey [395 posts]
18th May 2014 - 13:56

2 Likes

I would be more interested if they had used Kickstarter, which at least has a track record (I've funded several "bikey" projects on KS, all of which came to fruition).

Instead, you get to pay NOW, up front, and the disclaimers took so long to read I fell asleep.

Not this one. But good luck.

Ride your own ride

posted by CanAmSteve [169 posts]
18th May 2014 - 15:23

6 Likes

I'd rather just have a remote vibration/proximity alarm and use my own locks.

If anyone wants to Kickstart a simple device that can be hidden in the seat post or stem, I'm in. Forget all the smartphone/wifi stuff, just use the unlicensed 433Mhz band for a range of a few hundred meters. That's fine for most shop stops, locked up in the garage or outside the office.

If you leave a bike further away than that, such as at the railway station, you wouldn't be able to return to it in time anyway.

I know you can buy alarms that do exactly that for motorbikes and have wondered why no one has produced one for bikes.

posted by bikebot [787 posts]
18th May 2014 - 17:50

3 Likes

Well this wouldn't go anywhere near any of my bikes until it earns the Steve Gibson seal of approval.

posted by leqin [130 posts]
19th May 2014 - 8:36

2 Likes

Hmm.. I think that does actually have a couple of redeeming features.
But this:

The Article wrote:
Accelerometers are used to alert its owner if somebody is tampering with the lock. To do that you connect the Skylock to a local WiFi network

is basically useless. How often do you lock up your bike within range of an open-access public wifi network? Personally I'd rather it just had a pay-as-you-go SIM card in it.

posted by GrahamSt [115 posts]
19th May 2014 - 12:36

2 Likes

GrahamSt wrote:
Hmm.. I think that does actually have a couple of redeeming features.
But this:
The Article wrote:
Accelerometers are used to alert its owner if somebody is tampering with the lock. To do that you connect the Skylock to a local WiFi network

is basically useless. How often do you lock up your bike within range of an open-access public wifi network? Personally I'd rather it just had a pay-as-you-go SIM card in it.

Agreed, it needs to be on a mobile network. Just hoping that you are in range of a suitable WiFi network is not going to cut it.

Also, as already pointed out, if you leave your bike some distance away from where you are going, like at the train station or even on the street when you work on the 20th floor of a high-rise the idea that you would rush back to your bike if anyone moved it etc. might be a bit far-fetched. Even if you were in the supermarket with a trolley full of shopping do you want to have to abandon it and rush out of the shop because someone knocked your bike when locking their bike up next to it?

There are some really good ideas in this product but to me the execution is not quite right. Maybe it will develop into a great product.

posted by Matt eaton [490 posts]
19th May 2014 - 12:56

2 Likes