Connected Objects

Askey helps you remember if you locked the door

While a number of of sophisticated smart locks that one can control from around the world have made their debut, many folks just want a little help remembering whether they locked the door.

patent-claimedAskey is a device that easily attaches to a key and tracks when the key has been used via a motion sensor that accurately registers the key’s movement. The accessory is activated and starts to record the key’s movement when the user moves the key from its resting position. It comes in a choice of five colors and works in conjunction with a mobile device app, available now for Android only, but a port for iOS is coming also.

Askey uses Bluetooth 4.0 LE and ships in March at future pricing of about $60. But Kickstarter backers can get one at the early bird price of about $36. Its makers hope to raise $51,493 by May 30.


Kphob tracks door locking on the cheap with a turn of the key

It’s a common problem. After leaving the house, it’s often hard to remember if the door was locked and it’s just too time-consuming a lot of the time to return home and check.

patent-claimedKphob is a key fob that records whenever the user locks a door with an attached key. It uses several sensors, including a magnetometer and accelerometer, to track every motion of the key. The device also tracks the time and date of each entry and exit. It features a small display that shows the date and time.

Kphob ships in December. Future pricing is expected to be about $18. Early bird Kickstarter backers can get one first with a pledge starting at about $21. Its makers hope to raise $18,242 by May 5.

Alas, the fob only works only with physical keys, so consumers who have only a remote-controlled lock need not apply. Users must physically rotate the key inside the keyhole for at least one full rotation/revolution. But its makers are working on the algorithm to make it possible for 180-degree rotation detection.


Tech Accessories Wearables

EveryKey looks like Jawbone UP, logs you in or out

We’re constantly faced with the reality that our personal or intellectual property can be stolen at any time. That’s why we walk around with tons of keys in our pockets and passwords in our heads to avoid just that. EveryKey works to consolidate all of that into one neat package that you can wear on your wrist. The silicon band uses Bluetooth LE technology to unlock both your physical and digital locks for you. Bikes, apartments, cars and other controlled access devices open up when in range of EveryKey. Similarly, passwords stored on the band allow you to login to your computer, phone or tablet. This smartband uses military-grade encryption so that you’re always protected from hackers. It’s water-resistant and charges via a micro USB port to USB cable. The battery lasts for up to 30 days.

Of course, with any all-encompassing device there’s convenience and risk that it’ll fall into the wrong hands. The folks at EveryKey have addressed this concern by allowing for deactivation of the device online if lost. All locks and passwords are still able to be open with regular keys and codes, adding more convenience if EveryKey is left behind at home or lost. The campaign says that the creators really focused on fashion when creating this product. While it comes in lots of different colors, it’s not the most vogue of devices, but not the clunkiest either. For those who are familiar with the FitBit, EveryKey bears a striking resemblance.

We’ve seen devices with some of these same capabilities like the Skylock which allows for wireless entry into your bike. While this product is limited in its range, only compatible with bikes, it comes with the added perk of letting the user know if their property is being tampered with. Perhaps such a feature would be a great addition to the EveryKey in later models. Still, this product is well thought out and a great addition to the smart security market. Backers can enjoy their own for $50 by March 2015, not a bad price at all. EveryKey is looking to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter.

Sensors/IoT Tools

Noke turns smartphones into programmable skeleton keys for all your padlocking needs

The Premise. The potential of various innovations unlocked by technologies like smartphones and Bluetooth affect every aspect of life. Most items can be improved and made more convenient by leveraging these platforms, even things as simple as a padlock.

The Product. Noke looks like a simple padlock at first, but it has no slot for a physical key or a combination dial. After synchronizing a smartphone with the Noke lock, a click of the lock’s mechanism will have the padlock search for Bluetooth devices, authorizing the lock to open only in the presence of a smartphone with the appropriate security permissions. Permissions can be granted through the app to other phones on a scheduled, one-time, or recurring basis, giving more people access to whatever is locked up. Additionally, if a smartphone runs out of battery or isn’t available, a physical morse code unlocking pattern can be programmed in to give access in case of emergency.

The Pitch. Noke designer, FŪZ, clearly values a sense of aesthetic in their product, and that level of polish carries over to their campaign video as well. The passion and enthusiasm for Noke is easy to get swept up in, and the more in-depth look at the app featured in the campaign itself is likely to answer any lingering questions left over from watching the video introduction. FŪZ Designs needs $100,000 to bring Noke to the streets and pay for the device’s tooling.

The Perks. Noke is expected to release in February of 2015 for backers who pledge $59. The optional bike mount and cable is available at the $79 tier. The remaining tiers include multiple locks for bundle prices.

The Potential. Noke surprisingly isn’t the first padlock to try and enter the digital age, with MasterLock offering a combination lock with online functions already. What makes Noke different, however, is the complete reinvention of a lock-and-key system, the physical override in case of digital failure, and the additional benefit of being able to use such a high-tech device outside in any weather conditions. While certainly a neat idea, it does put a great deal of responsibility on FŪZ Designs to make sure that everything on their end with the app and the tap codes is extremely secure and unable to be reverse-engineered to inspire locker vandalism and bicycle theft sprees. If Noke is as secure as it is stylish and innovative, then the padlock may never be the same again.


Quickey Multi-Tool unlocks your inner MacGyver

QuicKey  20140305131711-Cover_Specs_3[1]For those of you who have decided that a Swiss Army Knife is too bulky to carry around, Quickey Multi-Tool may be the multi-tool for which you have been longing. It’s about the size of a standard key and you can even attach it to your key ring. Quickey boasts of having five functions: a file, flathead screwdriver, scorer, bottle opener. and serrated edge that functions like a pocket knife. While not the first key-like multitool, the Quickey could certainly come in handy to backers, who can pick one up for $9 with an estimated delivery of April 2014.