Think about bike locks. Sure, there are high-end models that are deemed more secure than others, but when it comes to innovation — especially to the locking mechanisms — it’s always pretty much just been a key or a combination that stands between the security of your ride and a thief taking the bike away.
The creators of this Kickstarter campaign want to change that, and in the process, make sharing bicycles with friends and family a bit easier.
The project is called Bitlock, and the lock is a high-quality bike lock with Bluetooth sensors inside that allow the lock to be opened by an iOS or Android app. According to Bitlock’s creators, the technology uses the same encryption systems found in online banking systems, so it’s pretty secure, and the lock itself carries a high-quality build and has sealed components inside to protect the electronic innards from all types of weather conditions.
Now if Bitlock were just being used by individuals in lieu of a key, it might seem gimmicky, but the vision the inventors of the product have for the lock goes far beyond just giving us a new way to lock our bikes. According to the Kickstarter description, the hope for Bitlock is that it creates a new way for bike owners to share their bikes in a city. Imagine if you own a bike and want to share it with a friend: Instead of having to give a key to your friend, or make them memorize a combination, you can enable sharing of the bike with them via a smartphone application, giving them permission to unlock the bike when they are near.
And if you need to tell your friend where your bike is located? The Bitlock has a built-in GPS system that will log where the bike was located the last time it was locked, so your friend will be able to use the app to find it.
The creators of Bitlock are aiming to ship the first version of the product by July 2014, and although all the early bird offers on the Kickstarter are gone, users can still get a first-edition Bitlock for $99 plus shipping. While this is a premium price for a bike lock — even one of high quality — it will still be less than the anticipated $140 retail price when Bitlock eventually hits stores. If you are looking for a new way to share bikes or just want to be on the cutting edge of bike lock technology, Bitlock may be worth a look.