Any lock can be cut in a minute or less, say the makers of SkunkLock. They therefore devised a noxious surprise for anyone who attempted to get through theirs.
SkunkLock has a unique chemical compound pressurised inside and so anyone who takes it on with an angle grinder is in for an unpleasant experience. The designers say that the chemicals are so disgusting they induce vomit in the majority of cases.
Daniel Idzkowski, one of the designers of SkunkLock, told The Guardian that the final straw had been when a friend’s bike was stolen despite the use of two locks, each of which cost $120. “I blurted out, ‘why didn’t it blow his balls off?’”
Idzkowski says thieves talk in seconds: “A 15-second bike, a 20-second bike, and it goes up to 30-60-second bikes, with Kryptonite locks that require two cuts, each about 25 seconds.”
Looking to raise $20,000 on Indiegogo (it’s just passed $4,000 with a month to go), SkunkLock looks pretty standard from the outside. Made from hardened medium-carbon steel, it’s not easy to cut through – but the idea is that you wouldn’t want to. About 30 per cent of the way through the lock, a would-be thief will hit a secure hollow chamber and “formula D_1” will be released.
Idzkowski says the chemical had passed US compliance tests and says variants are designed to be compliant according to the varying rules of 50 states, major cities and EU nations. The UK is one country they hope to be able to ship to in summer 2017.
You can reserve one of the locks by pledging $99 to the Indiegogo campaign, a price that does not include local taxes or shipping.