Around 7 a.m. Pacific time today, Apigy Inc., the company behind the Lockitron, announced on its Web page that it was accepting pre-orders for a new version its keyless lock, which lets you unlock your door with your smartphone.
Twelve hours later, the product-in-progress had received double its initial goal of $150,000.
So what’s so special about Lockitron? For one, it’s part of the growing trend of keyless entry to both cars and homes, as the New York Times wrote about here last year. For home owners that deal with a lot of foot traffic — dog walkers, nannies or tenants — it can be more convenient than carrying and sharing multiple sets of keys.
The new Lockitron will also with with Bluetooth 4.0, in addition to Wi-Fi and NFC (near field communication) technology, presenting a broader range of options for smartphone consumers. So, if you’re using an iPhone 5, you can activate Bluetooth as you’re nearing your door and communicate with Lockitron that way — no WiFi or data connection needed. If you have an NFC-equipped Android handset, you can swipe your phone against the lock and open it that way.
Lockitron’s updated mobile app also sends a combination of text messages, push notifications and emails to let you know when the UPS delivery guy might have knocked on your door, whether the dog walker arrived on time and exactly when the kids got home from school.
While some consumers might like the additional levels of security offered through systems like this, others might cringe at the idea of an obvious electronic box hanging on their front doors. So Lockitron has designed a box that now fits over the lock on the inside of the door, but can still communicate with your smartphone or cellphone.
Apigy says the new Lockitron is expected to ship in March, and in an interview with AllThingsD, founder Paul Gerhardt stressed that customers who pre-ordered the product won’t be charged for it until it’s actually ready.