Companies are going crazy over inventing products with “smart” features. Technology is being combined with so many products with the intention of improving the user experience and bringing something new and revolutionary to something familiar. Some of the “smart” products are great and can be really useful. With others, the “smart” features are less logical.
Well, Velo Labs has done an incredible job by adding a technological feature to their new bike lock: Skylock.
Skylock at first glance is a simple U-lock like you find on many bikes these days. Upon closer inspection, you can see a panel on it that other U-locks don’t have. This panel enables users to link their locks to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. As you approach your bike, the lock senses your presence using a proximity feature in the app, and your lock opens. It also gives you the opportunity to enter a passcode right on the lock if your phone is not with you. This means that you no longer have to worry about carrying keys around!
Additionally, the app uses an accelerometer to detect sharp changes in speed. This could indicate that you have fallen off your bike, so it immediately pulls up a one-touch method for requesting help.
Finally, Skylock allows you to share with your friends. Say your bike is parked on the other side of campus and your friend is going to be over there later in the day. You can send your friend a code that gives them a one-time pass to unlock your bike, or even give their smartphone access to the app as well, and they can unlock it for you and bring it to you. Convenient for both of you!
The Skylock is expensive, but they just launched a crowdfunding campaign that will help it to be much more affordable. If this concept becomes popular, the price may eventually come down even more.
This is how smart technology should be done – taking a product we all know, understand, and need, and then making it better. In the case of Skylock, it helps deter theft, protects riders’ safety, and creates convenience. This is what good inventions are all about. Skylock is definitely a winner.