Smart technologies are designed to augment your use of more conventional devices and components by offering remote functionality, connected support and ‘smarter’ more efficient use. After all, it’s what signifies the difference between an item that is effectively ‘smart’ as opposed to ‘dumb’ or analog in nature.
Sometimes, however, it’s just not necessary to take an analog or conventional item and add smart functionality. Take your average smart lock, for example. Most smart locks add “smart” or modern features by allowing you to unlock your door using your phone. You can also issue virtual keys or temporary passes for family members and friends. Something like the August smart lock doesn’t come with support for physical keys. Kevo, on the other hand, and similar Schlage smart locks do.
They don’t take a regular ol’ key and make it smarter, however. Instead, they just incorporate the more conventional use of a key, and combine it with smart features like remote monitoring or access.
But what if things worked the other way around. What if, instead, you made your ‘dumb’ physical key smarter, yet kept the same type of ancient, old-fashioned deadbolt or lock?
That’s exactly the idea behind the Locky smart key system which will take any key and make it connected.
What is the Locky Smart Key System?
Locky turns your ‘dumb’ physical keys smart.
The best way to describe Locky is to liken it to a key fob or keychain, with built-in smart functionality. It’s a case or housing for your physical keys, that adds Bluetooth functionality, smart sensors and mobile connectivity.
Similar to a smart lock, this adds some unique features. For starters, the Locky app can tell you whether or not your door is locked, based on how the key itself interacted with the lock recently. If you unlocked your door, for example, and then walked away without locking it again, the app will send an alert soon after.
It can also alert you when the key itself moves out of range of your phone or the mobile app. If say, you leave it on the table in a restaurant, the app will send a notification reminding you to go back and get it. The housing also has a built-in speaker which will sound an alarm if you lose it.
Unlike a smart lock — which works for a single door and deadbolt system — Locky can also be used for multiple keys or doors. You simply need to attach a small Bluetooth-enabled beacon to each lock or door you want to track, and the app will help you discern which door is which.
Neat, But Not Ideal
Locky cannot remotely communicate with a deadbolt like a smart lock can. So, if it tells you that you forgot to lock the door, then it will stay unlocked.
Unfortunately, there’s one particularly glaring drawback that sets back Locky miles upon miles behind your average smart lock. With something like August, for example, if you leave your home and realize during your morning commute you left the front door unlocked you can simply lock it, remotely, from wherever you are using your mobile device. This is not possible with Locky, which obviously hinges on the use of a physical key.
The most useful feature is, of course, the ability to track your key if and when you lose it. Outside of that, the system doesn’t offer any true remote support.
Still, it’s a cool device that might be appealing to some — especially if you’re not comfortable swapping out your conventional lock for something smarter and more connected.
Locky is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, and is already successful — it already surpassed the $10,000 funding goal. You can pre-order a Locky at the early-bird price of $55 right now. At launch, it will cost a bit more.