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Gadget of the Week: BitLock, Bluetooth & GPS bike locks of the future

Loie Favre (translation)
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Our gadget of the week series brings you new and extraordinary technology or cool gadgets that make life easier or just more fun. This time we’ve discovered something really cool for urbanists, bike enthusiasts and open-minded people: BitLock, the first keyless bike lock which pairs with your smartphone.

gadget of the week teaser
© AndroidPIT

What is BitLock?

BitLock is unlocked with your smartphone and thanks to Bluetooth, you don’t even need to whip your phone out from your pocket or search laboriously in your purse, a button on the lock is all you need to activate it. Using GPS, you are also able to locate your bike and because the app will allow you to set up many more than one user, the intelligent lock works also as a great bike sharing program. BitLock is double reinforced: made with heat-treated steel, lock cutters have no chance and thanks to the use of digital encryption, as used for online banking, BitLock has you saying bye bye to hackers.

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Keyless bike lock with BitLock. / © Mesh Motion Inc.

BitLock is a Kickstarter campaign which has already reached the halfway mark of their 120,000 US dollar goal. With 24 days left, getting support for their project seems to be really promising.

L​ink to the video

Technical Data

  BitLock
Battery: Lithium-Thionylchlorid-Battery, 2.4 ampere-hour, not chargeable
Battery life: 10,000 times locked/unlocked (~5 years of average usage)
Battery longevity: 20 Jahre
Dimensions: 10.2 x 20.3 cm (4'' x 8'')
Weight: 1.09 kg (2.40 lbs)
U-bar dimensions: 12 mm (0.47 inch)
Material: Strengthened, heat-treated, cut-resistant steel
Lock cylinder: High security disc-style cylinder
Protective covering material: PVC
Supported smartphones: Samsung: Galaxy S3, S4, Note 2, Note 3
HTC: One, Droid DNA, EVO
Motorola Droid: Moto X, Droid RAZR MAXX, M
Google: Nexus 4, 5
Apple: iPhone 4S (iOS 6 und 7), 5, 5C, 5S

How does it work?

BitLock consists of a well designed, 12 mm-thick U-lock made from cut-resistant steel that cannot be cracked with a bolt cutter or a hacksaw. The weatherproof mechanics are built into the cylinder and the gadget is run by a powerful battery which is said to last five years or up to 10,000 locks. Of course, the app will let you know when the charge is getting low, at which point in time the battery needs to be replaced. On your smartphone, the app communicates with the BitLock via Bluetooth, so that the lock detects when you are nearby. In order to lock and unlock it, you don’t need to physically operate your smartphone, pressing the button on the bar piece of the lock is enough, since it detects that you are one of the allowed users and easily pops open. Alternatively, a 16-digit code can be entered on the lock if the battery on your phone happens to crap out.

gadget bitlock 05
Here are the separate parts of BitLock: thanks to the super sturdy material und mechanics, BitLock is ''double'' secured. / © Mesh Motion Inc.

What makes it so cool.

BitLock is more than just a super anti-theft lock. Using GPS, it marks where you have parked your bicycle on a map. This not only helps you to easily locate your ride, the exact position can also be shared with friends. With more than one person using the app, many can benefit from the lock: BitLock has laid down the the foundation for a bike sharing program, complete with access times and maps. The software will also let you know how you have been contributing to sustainable, environmental and healthy living: you’ll be provided with information on kilometers traveled, calories burned and the amount of  CO2 gas emissions you’ve reduced​​, all of which can be broken down into statistics.

gadget bitlock 02
Not just easy to find with GPS, the blue and white design stands out as well./ © Mesh Motion Inc.

The Verdict

The BitLock project hasn’t yet reached the end of its Kickstarter campaign. Those interested can get themselves a lock for 99 US dollars. The chances that the Bitlock project will succeed in becoming a reality are looking good and you’ll find a ton of extensive and informative documentation on the lock’s technical aspects right on the Kickstarter page, along with a explanatory teaser video.

gadget bitlock 04
If you had a sweet ride like this, you would want to protect it with the highest grade of bike lock security there is too! / © Mesh Motion Inc.

What do you think of BitLock, the first keyless bike lock?

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Comments

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  • Henry B. 10 months ago Link

    What if someone steals your phone, and then they can steal your bike too?! Maybe I'm being a bit pessimistic.

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    Kris Carlon 10 months ago Link

    Haha yeah, all of a sudden the GPS map location of your bike doesn't seem like such a great idea! Perhaps they need a more involved unlock procedure than just proximity - but if you have to unlock your phone to open your bike lock you lose something in convenience. I guess you'd have to unlock the phone to find the bike map though. Unless the thief watched you park your bike before stealing your phone.

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  • James Ahn 10 months ago Link

    Better be available in plain black lest someone try to steal the lock. Its def worth more than my bike.

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