Lockitron today announced a new product in its lineup of smart keyless home locking system devices, the $99 Bolt. Lockitron previously entered the market a few years back with the somewhat rocky launch of an earlier smartphone-enabled deadbolt lock, and the company is now shifting gears to focus on Bolt.
The basics of the device allow users with the free-to-download app to unlock and lock their home deadbolts via Bluetooth Low Energy, meaning a user must be near the lock to interact with it, but the lock will keep working in event of a power outage.
As reported by TechCrunch, Lockitron co-founder Cameron Robertson assures customers the company has learned a lot from the problems faced with its last product. The team simplified component costs by sourcing high quality parts elsewhere, and subsequently got both the lock’s price and size reduced.
Bolt is smaller, more elegant and more robust than the crowdfunded Lockitron. It has a better battery life, more fault tolerant embedded architecture and includes Lockitron’s most popular features like sharing access, activity logging and Sense. Most importantly, however, Lockitron Bolt has been designed with mass manufacturing in mind from day one.
The Bolt also features sharing access to other smartphone users, activity logging to track when someone interacted with the lock, and „Sense,“ which either automatically unlocks the Bolt when you walk up to the door, or prompts the user with an easy-to-confirm notification. Lockitron will also sell the Bolt Bridge, which connects the Bolt to the internet and acts as a middle man to send a Bluetooth signal via a user’s phone to the Bolt itself, meaning customers could unlock the deadbolt for someone else while away from home.
The new device replaces a deadbolt on a user’s door altogether, versus the original’s attempt at universality in fitting over an existing deadbolt. While the company’s aims were admirable, many users found difficulty in setting up and properly using the slotted-on device. Lockitron decided to look to learning thermostat Nest as an example of a product that requires a signifcant amount of setup but leaves its users with a far more agreeable experience upon completion.
“Basically, as long as we could break the setup down into 20 tiny, doable steps, it didn’t really matter that it required removing the old deadbolt,” Robertson told TechCrunch last week.
The Lockitron Bolt can be pre-ordered from the company’s official website. A Preview Edition, with a limit of 1,000 units, will begin shipping in March. A final consumer-ready edition is slated for „late Spring“ and will arrive in a variety of finishes to match a user’s door.