We all love accessories, and anything with an Android association we’re right on top of, we were invited to attend the launch of Dog and Bone’s latest smart accessory, the ‘LockSmart’, keyless Bluetooth padlock in Brisbane yesterday, and it looks pretty neat.
Dog and Bone is an Australian-based tech company who are expanding from their current line of ruggedised phone cases into the connected accessory space, with the LockSmart Bluetooth smart lock being the first product in that category. In a market dominated by international players, it’s good to see a local Australian company releasing products that can compete on equal grounds in this international field.
The LockSmart will come in two variants, the LockSmart Keyless Bluetooth Padlock with an 8mm hardened steel shackle and die-cast Zamak-3 Zinc Alloy body for $139.95, and the LockSmart Mini Keyless Bluetooth padlock with 7mm shackle for $109.95, with availability starting this month for the larger model, and December for the LockSmart Mini. Both models will be available from Dog and Bone’s website as well as at local bricks and mortar stores, however they’ve yet to announce specifics and will advise which retailer partners will carry the LockSmart range closer to launch.
The devices feature:
- A rechargeable Lithium-ion battery – good for up to 2 years or 3000 unlocks
- Micro USB recharging
- Android (and iOS) app
- 128-bit encryption
The Android app being demonstrated was an early build however, the company is expecting to get the app into the Playstore before launch. Via the app users are able to:
- Pair new locks
- Manage locks
- Configure each lock
- Share (or remove) a lock with friends or family
- View each locks ‘access history’
- Monitor each locks battery status (when connected)
Using the padlock was very simple, if the lock was powered on – there’s a low power mode we’ll discuss that shortly – and in normal Bluetooth range – about 10 meters – you can configure each LockSmart device to unlock by either touching a button on the device itself or tapping a button in the app.
You can further refine the app experience by requiring either a pin code or – for iOS only at this stage – using the device’s fingerprint sensor via the app, you can be sure that we discussed the potential of the company incorporating the Android fingerprint APIs that were released in Android 6.0.
If you have multiple locks you can share and configure them independently of each other. In the live demonstration the lock performed as you would expect, it was more fun than you would think, touching a button on a phone and see, what looks like a traditional lock, magically unlock itself with a satisfying click, Dog and Bone have certainly achieved the cool factor, for what is a fairly run-of-the-mill product category.
As mentioned above the LockSmart has a low power mode, we often discuss compromises which must be made to bring products to market, in the case of the small connected accessories you often have a tradeoff between battery life and convenience. Unless you want to be charging your smart lock every few days, not very convenient for a garden shed or that side gate, manufacturers must find a way to get relatively small batteries to last for a long long time.
Case in point for the LockSmart, the device will enter a ‘low power’ mode shortly after it loses Bluetooth connection with a paired device. Unfortunately, the only way to wake the device from the low power mode is to press a physical button on the device. This trade off might have been a deal breaker, had the company not added a press to unlock mode, when configured if the lock goes into low power mode – i.e. shuts off – when you power it back on it will immediately unlock once it establishes a Bluetooth connection with a paired device, a handy implementation.
With the LockSmart your phone becomes they key, you trade a physical key or a combination lock for a digitally encrypted pairing to a smart device. The company will be shipping us a review unit when it becomes available and we will be putting the lock and it’s app through a full Ausdroid review then.
Are you interested in connected accessories? Would a Bluetooth padlock be of interest to you? Let us know how you would use a Bluetooth padlock in the comments below.