A Smart Bike Lock That Knows Who You Are

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
May 16 2014 2:13 PM

A Smart Bike Lock That Knows Who You Are

skylock
Skylock in action.

Photo from Skylock.

Sometimes it's hard to imagine how the objects we use in our daily lives could be improved by "smart" features. Do you really need a can opener that can tell you your heart rate? Probably not. But Velo Labs is raising $50,000 for a smart project that makes total sense: a bike lock.

The Skylock is a standard U-lock that connects to a smartphone app via Bluetooth to open your lock as you approach, like keyless entry on a car. You can also enter a code on the lock itself if you don't have your phone. Skylock also has an accelerometer that detects motion near the bike and can warn you if someone is trying to steal it.

Advertisement

Additionally, Skylock uses the accelerometer to detect if you've fallen off your bike or been in a collision and brings up a one-touch option on your smartphone to get help. One of the coolest things about SkyLock is that you can grant other smartphones access to it as well, so it can open for anyone you want. It's an easy way to share a bike with someone or give them one time access.

The downside to Skylock is that it's going to retail for $249. It's currently at a preview price of $159 (and today only it's $139) if you support the crowdfunding campaign, but those price points seem pretty steep. Hopefully if the technology gets popular, though, the price will come down.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories to the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 22 2014 6:00 AM Why It’s OK to Ask People What They Do David Plotz talks to two junior staffers about the lessons of Working.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 8:43 AM Thunderstruck: Rock Out With Mother Nature’s Evil Side
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 22 2014 7:30 AM An Illusion That Makes Me Happy and Sad
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.