The Ellipse is a solar powered bicycle lock that connects to a smartphone to provide theft alerts and keyless entry.
We first reported on the lock, when it was called the Skylock, back in 2014, and it successfully crowdfunded the project the following year. It’s since taken the US by storm, according to the press release we’ve been sent, and has now arrived in the UK. It costs £199 and is available now.
The Ellipse lock is powered by solar power so you don’t even need any batteries, but you can charge it via a USB port if needed. The thin-film solar cells trickle charge the battery and just an hour of sunlight is enough to keep it going for a week. The panels are water resistant and covered with an impact resistant polycarbonate plastic shell.
It uses Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to any compatible smartphone and can provide notifications to your phone if a would-be thief is tampering with the lock, though we presume that requires you to be within reasonably close proximity of the lock given Bluetooth’s limited range. It can also alert friends if you have a crash using the on-board accelerometer.
The company boasts of the possibly appealing opportunity to share your bike with friends using virtual keys in the companion app, essentially a bike-sharing program. There’s also a find my bike feature if you forget where you locked your bike the morning after a night out…
The lock is made with a 17mm thick 4100 series chromoly steel shackle and a dual-locking mechanism that the company says means a thief would have to cut through it twice to get away with your pride and joy. As for the keyless entry, it says it has used “bank-level” encryption to prevent hackers from gaining access.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.