Meet the Lockitron, a door lock that allows you to access your home via your smartphone. It isn’t the first phone-based door lock system we have seen, but it definitely looks to be the most intuitive.
What sets the Lockitron apart is that it can be installed on a home’s existing locks, a process that the manufacturer claims can be performed on most standard deadbolts in less than a minute. Once installed, things start to get interesting.
A user can activate the Lockitron in several ways. First and foremost, it connects to a home’s WiFi network, so it can be triggered via the Internet from anywhere in the world. For Android users, it can be activated by NFC. All the user needs to do is wave his or her phone in front of the lock and it will open. Lockitron also boasts a Bluetooth radio, so that it can unlock automatically anytime the homeowner comes within range.
Outside of the obvious functionality, the system has a knock sensor, which detects a visitor’s knock on the door and sends a notification to the user. Finally, it has a guest mode that allows users to temporarily grant access to others. Four AA batteries are all it takes to power the Lockitron for a year. The device sends a notification when the batteries start to run low.
In sum, Lockitron looks like a very well-thought-out device. Some will balk at the price tag — $149 now, and $199 when it officially goes on sale next year — but it has a lot going for it. The fact that it doesn’t require any modification to the door makes it feasible for renters. Not only do they not need permission to install the Lockitron, they can take it with them when they move out.
All things considered, this is a device to consider. The first pre-order shipment (for March 2013) is sold out. The May 2013 shipment is still open as of this writing.