Smart locks are all the rage these days, and it makes sense: using a device instead of a hardware key means you’re far less likely to lose the means to opening the lock, and you can do it remotely from anywhere with a connection. TEO is a new Kickstarter Project that wants to bring smart features to that most basic of everyday security devices, the padlock.
The TEO uses an app to control a Bluetooth LE lock device, which has a basic hinge and a design that instantly sets it apart from other padlocks out there. It’s also a rights-management platform, whereby you can see the location of your TEO locks on a map, and share access to each individually with anyone else that has the TEO app as you choose. So if you need a friend to pick up the bike you left outside their apartment last night and bring it back to you, it’s as simple as granting them temporary access to that TEO.
The padlock hardware itself is designed to be at least as theft-resistant as existing options on the market, as well as rugged and able to withstand all kinds of weather while keeping the smart features operational. It’ll be made by Heliox Tech, a manufacturer based in California that has worked on U.S. military and underwater tech for nearly a decade, though the design is from Vancouver-based Form3.
Of course, using BLE means that battery is a concern; TEO says that using a sophisticated sleep mode, it will last for at least one year in its final design. Users will be able to monitor battery life via the companion smartphone application, too, to make sure they don’t run out of juice and get left with a locked locker. The company also offers support that will swap out exhausted batteries, and help with bugs that cause locks to become unresponsive.
TEO creator OckCorp is looking for $165,000 to get its product off the ground, and has already raised around $34,000 as of this writing. A $79 pledge will currently get you one of the first production units, with a target ship date of December 2014. While the basic combo lock won’t be going out of style anytime soon, this definitely suit the needs of bike sharing organizations, delivery locker companies and others who have the need for a distributed, managed solution, as well as adventurous early adopters.