Connected Objects Cycling Safety Sensors/IoT

App-enabled Skylock uses solar power to let would-be bike thieves see the light

The Premise. Bike locks are relatively unrefined. One needs to simply trust in the strength of their lock to protect them from thieves. Given enough time and opportunity, however, thieves can break into the strongest of locks unbeknownst to the owner. 

The Product. Skylock is an incredibly sophisticated solar-powered U-lock for your bicycle. It connects to your mobile phone and lets the owner know if their lock is being tampered with. This super-lock provides keyless entry and key sharing for multiple riders via Bluetooth as well as a GPS locator. When a crash or accident occurs, the lock sends a signal to your phone that gives you the option to either say that you’re uninjured or call for help from family, friends and even the authorities. This product is also functional, using a dual-locking mechanism for maximum security. If the bike should run out of battery, it won’t let the user lock the bike until recharged. The lock can also be charged externally by micro USB if sunlight is unavailable.

The Pitch. So far, Skylock has received tons of praise from the press which its campaign features. The video shows the lock in action, displaying how it alerts the rider when the bike is moved, the way it springs into action after an accident has occurred, as well as how easy it is to share access to the bike. Skylock is looking to raise $15,000 in a month-long Indiegogo campaign.

The Perks. Early riders can enjoy the Skylock for $149. It’s base Indiegogo price is set at $159 while its retail price will be $249. Higher tiers offer bundles of locks for bike share programs.

The Potential. Good bike locks can be hard to find. Locks such as the HENCH bike lock offer bank-level security, but aren’t “smart”. The Lock8, a UK smart bike lock, recently ran a successfully Kickstarter campaign. This product offers keyless entry, anti-theft alarms and GPS locating services. The Skylock takes the smart lock to a new level with its bike sharing capabilities and accident panic button. For a product that will protect you and your bike, the Skylock’s price is competitive and is a great investment for any bicycle commuter or enthusiast.


Hench will clench your bike, protect it from thieves

The Premise. Cycling is a popular and healthy way to get around, especially in the summertime. The only problem is that bikes get stolen all the time. Many locks are quite heavy and cumbersome to carry around when biking. And most thieves find their way around even the heftiest of locks anyway.

The Product. The HENCH bicycle lock claims resistance to all tampering techniques. It’s comprised of a chain wrapped with Kevlar, fabric and Velcro. Due to its materials, the lock is flexible and lightweight. For storage, it wraps around the bar of the bicycle or folds up making it convenient to tote around.

The Pitch. The campaign video shows the lock being hacked away at by several different tools. While the fabric will rip, the lock remains intact. The UK creator outlines his future plans for Hench in the rest of the campaign. He’s looking to produce the lock in different sizes and colors for different kinds of bicycles. Hench has a £25,000 in a 30-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. HENCH only offers one reward tier. For £100, backers will receive one of the first Hench locks from its initial production run. Estimated delivery date is currently set at August 2014. 

The Potential. Most riders go for a U-lock like those from Kryptonite. Others choose the heavy chain, but neither of these options uses Kevlar which renders the Hench resistant to bolt cutters. Alternative locks are also difficult to transport. One must either place them in a backpack or basket or use a bracket that attaches to the bike bar. These are typically difficult to install and not that reliable. The Velcro makes for a simple way to secure the lock. All in all, the Hench bike lock, while a little on the pricey side, looks like a great new way to secure your bike while remaining unencumbered by extra weight.