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Corliss Home Security: Smart lock 'Bolt' from Lockitron

A talk by mikaesmond

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February 10, 2015 8:00 PM



Lockitron of Y Combinator fame has announced the launch of the USD 99 successor, named Bolt, to their keyless-entry device 3 years ago.

Lockitron's co-founder, Cameron Robertson, admitted that they have learned much from the issues they have to deal with during the product's last release. For instance, instead of using around 40 custom-made components, their team chose to just source high-quality ones. This resulted in significant price reduction -- from the original price of USD 179 to USD 99 -- and lower failure rate.

Robertson's team believed that they can create something with a bit more complex setup and be a hit. So they decided to return to the original plan of replacing the deadbolt instead of trying to create a universal device to fit over the existing deadbolts.

Bolt is capable of connecting to smartphones via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) which basically means you can unlock your door using an app or while walking up the steps. For those who intend to maximize the use of their unit, Lockitron recommends buying the USD 49 adapter that will support additional features like connecting to your router and sending you data no matter where you are. This could be useful for those times when you're running late and would want to let your guests in the house in the meantime. But seriously, who would want to do that?

This is certainly a big help for those who regularly hires help in the house as the Bolt also lets you give permission to a person for specific times of the day. Also, you can use SMS or email message to give your family an access to a lock -- no more need for a physical key. Though as Corliss Home Security mentioned, that's another security risk altogether.

A couple of years back, Lockitron has made waves when it announced its plans to build a smart lock with WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities so users can easily connect it online and control it remotely. But they had a rough start when their backers got anxious over missed shipping deadlines. They eventually came through with the WiFi-enabled gadget for the 10,000 backers of their crowdfunding campaign. But last week, it has announced it's retiring the original gadget and would instead start offering a Bluetooth-only smart lock named Bolt. For it to connect remotely on the Internet, they will offer a separate bridge (WiFi to Bluetooth).

Corliss Home Security noted that the shift was made probably because of WiFi's high energy requirements. Their use of Bridge will now remove the difficulty of managing power for WiFi while still giving users instant control over Bolt.

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