News Flash & Preview: LOCK8 – the World’s First Smart Bike Lock

Bike Commuters with a love for all things techie, edgy, smart, and sleek: LOCK8‘s kickstarter campaign is coming along with England’s one and only “Smart Bike Lock!” We took a looksie over at their kickstarter page  to check out how this crazy gadget all began, and it goes a little something like this:

“At University both our bikes got stolen multiples times. So over a coffee on a sunny day in England, we started talking about bike theft. Surprised that there wasn’t a technologically advanced bike lock on the market, we decided to build one ourselves. We installed our own little workshop, decided not to tell anyone and started drawing, machining, soldering and testing. One year later we are extremely excited about the launch and would like to thank everyone who has supported us! Particularly our families and friends!

Since September ’12 we have been refining LOCK8.”

Unlucky for those two University students, long, long ago, but lucky for SCIENCE! Bike Commuters will be receiving a sample to test out ASAP. This lock seems like it’s a product for a bike commuter that’s riding in areas teeming with thieves, bandits, or pirates. The price point seems TBD… but the concept sounds more bulletproof than anything else on the market.

And here’s the obligatory spec run for those readers who are not into clicking links:

  • Keyless: No more keys! Use your smartphone as an e-Key to easily lock and unlock your smart bike lock. We will also provide a keyfob in case your smartphone runs out of battery.
  • Integrated GPS: the integrated GPS/GSM chip makes LOCK8 fully internet connected and is the first truly smart lock. Your bike is able to transmit its location at all times. If you lend your bike or forgot where you put it, or if it gets stolen, you can track it in real time.
  • Alarmed: LOCK8 has multiple theft deterrents, such as a motion sensor, gyro-accelerometer, temperature sensor and hot-wired cable. Any tampering with the lock will trigger a painfully-loud alarm and trigger a push notification to your phone. Alerts can also be sent to friends or the community.
  • Share: You can easily share your e-Keys with friends and family, or share keys with particular groups on Facebook. LOCK8 eliminates the need to physically hand over keys, just send your e-Key with your bike’s location.
  • Rent: Clicking the ‘offer’ button allows you to rent out your bike to verified LOCK8 app users or Facebook friends. Earn money with your bike.
  • Induction Charged: Best of all, LOCK8 is constantly charged through induction while cycling. We will provide spoke reflectors with built-in magnets, so every time the bike moves, the battery charges.

Hopefully we will get our hands on a sample of one of these mo-friggy high-tech bike locks to test out in the name of bike commuting SCIENCE!

My dumbphone and I will not be participating in this little experiment… maybe we’ll test the Ghost Rider by sending him a sample LOCK8 and fake stealing his bike in the middle of the night. Muahahahahahaaa!

Check out the LOCK8 website for more details.

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  1. Raiyn

    So let me get this straight. Having been to the Kickstarter page I can see it’s a fancy cable lock with an aluminum bracket / lock mechanism in a chewy plastic shell to house the electronics. Oh and here’s the kicker it unlocks using your phone that EVERYONE is so careful with? Yeah, THAT’S a good idea. At least it might send out a text message before it’s smashed to bits by the thief killing the alarm.

    Call me cynical, but I see way too many failure modes here.

  2. Jamesa

    So, i am calling you cynical: Here is the link to the Kickstarter page, in case you missed it – READ the FAQ first, then form a better opinion?

  3. Raiyn

    I didn’t miss the page at all as stated above, in fact it was the first place I went for more information and was the basis for my opinion.

    The FAQ doesn’t sway me in the slightest. The facts are these:
    First: It’s a cable lock – Easily defeated. No lock manufacturer worth their salt would ever recommend a cable lock as a primary means of defense which most people would expect a $150 piece of kit to be.

    Second: “The polycarbonate casing will take some damage before being removed.” Yeah, OK sure. That alarm goes off drawing attention to your device and the next thing that’s getting bashed is your precious plastic shell to stop the noise (which by the way would kill the remainder of the electronics). Nevermind the fact that car alarms have been in the “Turn that **** off!” realm rather than a real deterrent for decades.

    You’d be better served with a proper U-lock, an auxiliary cable (preferably with it’s own locking mechanism) and, as a nod to part of the idea but not the execution of the Lock8, a GPS tracker such as the Bike Spike or one of the others that can be hidden in a steerer tube.

  4. bojangle

    Interestingly, the FAQ was not meant to sway you. Just to educate. Bike thieves require time to break into any form of lock. This is the one essential ingredient for any crime, especially bike theft.
    Whether you use a U-LOCK or a cable is neither here nor there. In the real world, Bike thieves tend not to draw attention to themselves-as attention usually causes them problems. Instead they go for SAS…Speed Aggression and Surprise. LOCK8 eliminates speed as it disrupts the bike thief from carrying out his/her normal procedure. Have you ever tried to smash a ‘precious plastic’ Polycarbonate shell? Thought not. This takes time and extreme effort. Something which bike thieves have little of. To even remove the device from the bike would mean destroying the bike. Aggression. Bike thieves’ aggression is subdued due to the confusion the bike alarm will cause and the realisation that the device cannot be removed. Surprise. The bike thieves’ element of surprise or snatching the bike is removed due to the first two issues covered. LOCK8 disrupts bike theft.

  5. Raiyn

    You make a lot of assumptions about what I have or haven’t done or what I’m capable of. Don’t.

    Speed? Doesn’t take that long to cut a cable or pound a screwdriver through a piece of plastic. There’s a couple even easier ways of frying the electrical components, but I won’t go into detail as I wouldn’t want to give the hoodlums any ideas should this product actually make it to market.

    Aggression? Good job! Your alarm just pissed off the thief. So maybe, just maybe, (because I’m not sold on the alarm) instead of stealing the bike he just vandalizes your rig instead.

    Speaking of aggression: are you going to be the one to courageously confront the evildoer stealing your bike when the text message comes in? Brave brave Sir Robin.

    Surprise? Umm watch the video. -SPOILER- Multiple witnesses nobody lifts a finger until the final most brazen attempt.

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