I have this recurring nightmare; I’m back in high school—I’m running late for class/haven’t finished my homework/didn’t study for a test—and as I’m walking to my locker I realize I can’t remember my combination! Fuz Designs’ recently launched Kickstarter campaign for the Noke Bluetooth padlock could really help dream-me overcome this high school terror; by using my iPhone as a key, instead of a series of random numbers, I can always always get into my padlock.
No key? No problem!
We’ve seen some very interesting products come out of Fuz Designs in the last year, from the stable EverDock to the on-the-move EverDock Go, and now their lineup includes a Bluetooth-enabled padlock. Noke, which is pronounced no-key (get it?), pairs with your smartphone via low power Bluetooth 4.0. Instead of carrying a key or memorizing numbers, you unlock the Noke simply by having your phone in range. Press the shank of the Noke (that’s the top loopy part), and your Noke will search for your phone; if it finds it, a digital key is transmitted and your padlock unlocks. Forgotten/lost your iPhone? No problem - you just tap out your unique emergency pattern on the shank, similar to morse code.
Of course, by digitizing keys you free them up for easier sharing, so the iOS/Android Noke app lets you grant people access. You can choose one time to let a family member into your storage unit to pick something up, or choose an entire week to let your friend into your shed to borrow your lawn equipment. There’s even a timed entry feature, which defines when a particular person may use a key, so you can share it with a contractor during the day but prevent him from barging into your house during your baby’s nap time.
The Noke app also allows assignment of permanently shared keys, so any member of your pickup soccer team can open the closet with your team gear in it, or designated employees can get access to high value supplies in an office cupboard. The lock tracks and displays history and usage, so it’s simple to see who has been up to what.
Similar to Fuz’s other products, the Noke’s industrial design is simple and composed of gorgeous metal curves with a solid heft. It looks similar to other padlocks, just without the numeric dial or a key slot. The Noke is water resistant, so you can use it outdoors, and the company’s even made a custom holder with a cord for use as a bike lock. Power comes from a user-replacable battery, which should provide approximately one year of power before it’s time to swap out. The battery panel can be removed even when the lock is closed, so you can replace a dead battery without being permanently locked out.
There are two basic pledging rewards: one Noke for $59, or Noke+bike mount/cable for $79. You can get combinations of 2, 3, 5, or 10 Noke locks, ranging anywhere from $108 to $449, and the bigger the pledge the more per-lock savings are offered. Shipping in the U.S. is free, while international shipping is an additional $15.
Head over to the Noke Kickstarter page to check out all the details, and pledge if you want to make it to class on time and ace that exam…or maybe that’s just me.