Velasso has set out to make bicycle security easier, by making the unlocking process automatic. As soon as users get within Bluetooth range of their parked bike, its built-in locking mechanism will automatically release.
Basically, the rider initially attaches Linka to their bike frame, and then subsequently uses Bluetooth and the mobile application to control the lock. As the user approaches, Linka detects their phone and unlocks automatically, allowing them to ride off quickly. Locking to the frame is what makes Linka stand out from other automatic bike locks such as the Noke, U-Lock, Skylock, and Bitlock.
When locked, a 9-mm-thick steel ring slides into place, and if someone were to then try to steal the bike, the wheels wouldn't be able to spin, requiring them to carry it. Clearly, this would make them very conspicuous in public.
Should a particularity bold thief come along and try to steal the bike, there's a 100db alarm that will go off, drawing attention to their attempted theft. Users will also receive a notification on their phone that the bike has been moved.
For those seeking extra security, the team is offering a lasso chain that can be attached to the automatic part of the lock. This allows users to attach their bike to something while still getting the security offered by Linka.
Going a step further, Linka has also tapped into bikeindex.org to check the safety of the area in which the rider is leaving their bike. If an area is deemed unsafe, users are alerted, so they know to be extra careful. It will even suggest an alternate place to park and provide directions to get there.
Velasso is seeking crowdfunding to bring its Linka automatic bike lock to market. It has already passed its modest US$25,000 goal with ample time left in its funding period. Backers interested in preordering a lock can do so for a minimum pledge of $99.
The pitch video below provides more information and shows the lock in use.