Linka's Lasso gives chain locks the "smart" treatment
While there are now a number of smart electronic bike locks on the market, almost all of them are rigid U-locks. The Lasso is different, in that it's a flexible chain lock … but it can still do the usual things like wirelessly unlocking, sounding a theft alarm, and more.
Currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, the Lasso is made by California-based startup Linka Technologies.
It incorporates a bolt-cutter-resistant hardened manganese steel square-link chain, which is encased in a polyethylene sleeve and combined with a stainless steel locking mechanism that's covered in an impact-resistant TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) shell.
That mechanism electronically releases the chain when it receives a user-specific Bluetooth signal from a nearby Apple or Android smartphone (running an accompanying app), or from an Apple Watch. Users can additionally utilize a SmartMotion Key, which is a motion-sensitive rectangular Bluetooth fob that simply has to be moved near the lock.
In the event of a dead battery in the mobile device of choice, it's also possible to unlock the Lasso simply by entering a numeric code via a physical pushbutton on the locking mechanism. The electronic lock itself should reportedly be good for up to three months of use per charge of its lithium-ion battery – the app alerts users when the battery is getting low.
The app can additionally be utilized to arm the Lasso's theft-deterrent system – which will sound a 100-decibel alarm if the lock is moved while left unattended – plus it can be used to remotely grant lock-access to other people's smartphones. All of the electronics are IP67 water-resistant, meaning they can withstand being submerged to a depth of 1 meter (3.3 ft) for half an hour.
The Lasso is being offered in three models – the 1.8-kg (3.9-lb) Series 8, with a 100-cm (39.4-in)-long 8-mm chain; the 2.4-kg (4.4-lb) Series 10, with a 100-cm-long 10-mm chain; and the motorcycle-oriented 3-kg (6.6-lb) Series 10 Moto, with a 140-cm (55.1-in)-long 10-mm chain.
Assuming everything goes according to plan, a pledge of US$119 will get you a Series 8 (planned retail $194), $129 will get you a Series 10 (retail $204) and $159 will get you a Series 10 Moto (retail $224).
The lock is demonstrated in the following video.