Electronics

Noke padlock trades in keys and combos for Bluetooth

Noke padlock trades in keys an...
The Noke unlocks in response to a user-specific Bluetooth signal
The Noke unlocks in response to a user-specific Bluetooth signal
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The Noke unlocks in response to a user-specific Bluetooth signal
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The Noke unlocks in response to a user-specific Bluetooth signal
It automatically locks back up once the signal goes out of range again
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It automatically locks back up once the signal goes out of range again
Users will be notified via the app when the Noke's battery starts to get low, which should reportedly occur less than once a year
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Users will be notified via the app when the Noke's battery starts to get low, which should reportedly occur less than once a year
Plans call for a Noke bike lock kit to also be available
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Plans call for a Noke bike lock kit to also be available
An exploded view of the Noke
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An exploded view of the Noke
The Noke's components
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The Noke's components
Using the accompanying iOS/Android app, you can remotely grant full-time, one-time or scheduled unlocking privileges to other peoples' phones
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Using the accompanying iOS/Android app, you can remotely grant full-time, one-time or scheduled unlocking privileges to other peoples' phones
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There are already door locks and bicycle U-locks that are activated by Bluetooth, but Utah-based FŪZ Designs claims that its Noke is the world's first Bluetooth padlock. Like its house- and bike-specific counterparts, the Noke forgoes a physical key or combination dial, and instead unlocks when it detects the Bluetooth signal from an approved user's smartphone.

To unlock the Noke (pronounced "no key"), you just press down on its shackle once. This wakes it up, and gets it searching for Bluetooth 4.0 signals within a 10-foot (3-meter) range. If it detects its own specific unlocking signal emanating from the user's phone – which can be in their pocket or bag at the time – it proceeds to pop open. It automatically locks back up once the signal goes out of range again.

According to the guys at FŪZ, there are several advantages to going Bluetooth.

For one thing, you don't need to worry about losing a key or forgetting a combination. Should you forget your phone or if its battery dies, you can still unlock the Noke by tapping its shackle in a Morse code-like pattern that's unique to that lock.

Also, using the accompanying iOS/Android app, you can remotely grant full-time, one-time or scheduled unlocking privileges to other peoples' phones. This could come in handy when various co-workers or family members regularly need to use a locked item, or when people such as house-sitters require access to things like garden sheds.

Using the accompanying iOS/Android app, you can remotely grant full-time, one-time or scheduled unlocking privileges to other peoples' phones
Using the accompanying iOS/Android app, you can remotely grant full-time, one-time or scheduled unlocking privileges to other peoples' phones

Users will be notified via the app when the Noke's battery starts to get low, which should reportedly occur less than once a year. If the battery completely dies, it's possible to replace it with the lock still in place. The lock itself is made from boron and hardened steel, and is water-resistant.

FŪZ is currently raising production funds for the Noke, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$59 will get you one, when and if they're ready to go. The planned retail price is $89. More information is available in the pitch video below.

... and while the Noke may end up being the world's first commercially-available Bluetooth padlock, it won't necessarily be the first one ever made. The Teo lock is also currently in prototype form and was the subject of an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign of its own, earlier this year.

Sources: FŪZ Designs, Kickstarter

View gallery - 7 images
3 comments
3 comments
Mel Tisdale
It would be useful to have the blue tooth enabling limited in some way (so that the override code has to be 'clicked' in) making it is possible to lock one's smart 'phone in a locker when at the swimming pool etc.
Mike Donovan
or you could turn off the Phone's bluetooth when you put it in the locker
flink
This is very, very cool and I just kicked in for one.
So, the dead phone thing is covered. But how about the lock's battery? What happens if it dies?
Also, I noticed that all the pictures seem to be in sunny California (or similar). How will this function in below-freezing or even sub-zero weather? Cold weather is not kind to batteries.