Keys, aside from fire and shoes, may be the oldest technology most of us use on a daily basis. It’s hard to beat the simplicity of a uniquely shaped piece of metal, but there are a lot of advantages to having a networked lock–you can unlock the door for guests remotely, you can monitor access to your home, and yes, you won’t have to carry heavy, screen-scratching keys everywhere. Lockitron, a hardware company dedicated to networked deadbolts, has a new hardware locking solution that looks like a simple way to use your phone as a key.The first Lockitron ships in March 2013 after a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign. For $150, you can preorder a gadget that fits over your existing deadbolt, connects via WiFi to your home network, and lets you unlock your door through an SMS message or through an app for iOS. One of the cool things about the iOS app is that it provides notifications if your door is locked or unlocked. The Bluetooth-enabled as well, so your iPhone could automatically unlock the door when you get home. As of now, the lock has the most functionality if you’re got an iPhone, but an Android app update for this new model in the works too, and that will have NFC features.
While any computerized lock can (and will be) hacked, and Lockitron uses cloud servers to enable part of their services, Lockitron claims they use the same security protocols used in online banking, so you should be relatively safe. The person who you’re renting your apartment to through AirBnB is most likely a much greater security threat than your lock getting hacked. And this new model should be removable, which is nice, because your door’s lock is likely to last a lot longer than your current smartphone.
The Lockitron is currently available for preorder here.