Skylock is the bike lock for the 21st century

Interesting Engineering

The cost of bikes today often means that they become a target for thieves. Now a new start-up company, founded by ex Jawbone and Boeing engineers, may have the answer to keeping your costly purchase safe and secure as they have made a one of a kind lock for a bike that provides the owner with alerts in real time, just the same as owners of luxury cars, by the name of Skylock.

7[Image Source: Velo Labs]

There are many locks on the market for bikes and while they look tough, they can be broken under brute force. The lock has the name of the Skylock and it can be controlled through a smartphone and if anything happens to the bike it will then send an alert in real time. The lock comes from Velo Labs and it has been launched through a crowd funding project, where they hope to raise around $50,000 to begin production on the lock.

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When it hits the streets it will come in at around $249, however at the moment and while the crowdsourcing is still underway it is possible to pick it up for just $159. It has been said that the first of the locks to ship out will be during 2015.

npsywn8lpgbljz0xncsu[Image Source: Velo Labs]

The Skylock looks just the same as any other bike lock, in the standard U-lock shape; however it’s the inside where it is different as it comes packed with plenty of technology. Some of the tech includes Blutooth 4.0 and this is used in a similar way to the unlocking systems that you can see on cars. Thanks to the Skylock smartphone app, you are able to press just a single button to unlock the lock. The app can also be set up with proximity detection, which means that when you reach the bike, it will unlock itself. Even if your phone runs out of battery you can still unlock the bike lock by using the traditional combination lock, which is situated on the actual lock.

sjbuajxf9vthjcrggepk[Image Source: Velo Labs]

The Skylock comes with built in accelerometers and Wi-Fi. This means that once the bike has been locked up, the owner is then able to connect to the closest Wi-Fi point. If someone then starts to tamper with the lock and bike, the accelerometer detects it and there is a push notification sent straight to the app on the phone. The downside to this is that if you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection it won’t work, however there is a back-up plan as it also works on Bluetooth, but you do need to be within 30 feet.

10[Image Source: Velo Labs]

There is also clever crash detection technology built into the lock. This also works on the accelerometer and if it is detects impact or a crash then the app asks the owner if they are alright. The owner then has so many seconds to respond and if they don’t then the phone will dial the emergency services and alert them as to your location.

The team behind it have also given thought as to what happens if the battery dies in the lock. In this case they built in a solar panel to recharge the battery. They claim that just one hour of sunlight will charge the battery with enough power to last one week. Even in total darkness the developers say that it should last 30 days.

The Skylock comes in at just 1.36 kilograms and it is easy to fix onto the frame of the bike. So it is looking as though there will soon be a modern day approach to keeping your bike and yourself safe and sound.

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