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Skylock is a solar-powered smartlock for bikes

May 29, 2014

Startup Velo Labs has come up with a smartlock that lets you share your bike with friends and family. Skylock connects to your Smartphone, letting your friends unlock the bike through a companion app on their Smartphones.

Skylock allows for easy bike sharing

Skylock shows you where your bike is on a map on your phone, so it’s easy for your friend to pick up your bike if he or she needs one in a hurry. You can set up the times a person can use your bike, which can be useful if you only want to allow your children to use your bike before dark.

 

Skylock alerts you about bike thieves

A motion detector lets Skylock inform you if anyone’s tampering with your bike. However, the bike needs to be in a Wi-Fi hotspot because it’s cloud connected. The same feature will let your friends know if Skylock thinks that you’ve been in an accident.

If you hit something, Skylock will ask you if you’re alright. If it doesn’t get an answer within a set number of seconds, the device will swing into action. You can adjust the sensitivity of the detector if you are in an area where people are likely to collide with your bike by accident.

Skylock senses your presence

From Skylock.

From Skylock.

Bluetooth capabilities mean that Skylock can sense when you’re walking towards or away from it, so it can lock or unlock itself accordingly. A solar panel that charges the lock also powers the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

A back up keypad lets you unlock your bike with a combination, in case your phone’s out of power, and Skylock’s battery can be recharged with a USB cord. You might not ever need to use that charging method, though, because just one hour of sunlight is enough to keep the battery going for an entire week. A fully-charged battery will keep an average bike user going for a month.

How safe is the lock? Brute force or cutting mechanisms will overpower it, but if someone tries that you’ll get a red alert.

At $249, Skylock is five times as expensive as regular locks. However, sharing the cost among bike shares could make it viable. Co-founder Jack Al-Kahwati says, “Skylock would be the perfect intermediary to Airbnb…bikes.”

The company is set to ship Skylocks from next year. Although bike lovers might make a beeline for it, if some do manage to make money off it, it could catch on among general bike users, too.

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Category: security, Technology

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