The UniKey Kevo has been a hot topic for the past year, its touch-triggered unlocking amazing the likes of investors, TV shows and retailers alike. The auto-lock system first appeared on an episode of “Shark Tank”, and shortly thereafter received a round of funding which brings the company’s total to $2.75 million.
We caught up with UniKey founder Phil Dumas at the ff Venture Capital office (ffVC is one of UniKey’s investors) to chat about the device being a pre-order and how to deal with competition.
But first, let’s clear up what exactly the UniKey Kevo does just in case you missed it. The Kevo uses Bluetooth 4.0 to identify you before unlocking your door, just with a touch. Unlike Lockitron, which can allow users to remotely lock and unlock their door, Kevo doesn’t support that function but rather focuses on proximity and convenience. Kevo users never have to reach in their pocket or wallet.
The company has a partnership with Kwikset, one of the largest lock manufacturers in the U.S. so that installation is quick and easy.
“We’re not the first company to unlock a door with a phone,” said Dumas. “But we are the first company to make the experience so much better than a traditional key. All you have to do is touch the lock.”
But what if you lose your phone? Well, Kevo is set up to let you log in through the web app or on a different device to gain access. Each Kevo also comes with a fob, with extra fobs available for $25 each.
Eventually, Unikey will move into other spaces, including automotive, air travel, professional settings, etc. to ensure that, one day, you’ll be able to throw out all your keys. There is also potential for Unikey to partner with home control and home automation companies in order to trigger certain events in the home based on a door locking or unlocking.
For now, however, the company is getting through its pre-order phase. If you’re interested in the $219 Kevo, you can pre-order at Amazon, Newegg, Home Depot, and Build.com. Shipping begins in October.