Lockitron Admits Failure

By Brian Rhodes, Published Jan 29, 2015, 12:00am EST (Info+)

They were Silicon Valley's chosen one.

The company who was going to disrupt access control, backed by the biggest incubator and cheered on by the tech press.

However, as IPVM test results showed, the product had massive problems.

And now, Lockitron is admitting failure.

In this note, we examine what went wrong, what they are doing now and how this impacts the smart lock market.

Lockitron's ********

********* ***** ** *** *** *** and ***** **** **** ****** ** notice ** *********** * ********* ****** controller ** *********** *** ***** ******** customers. ***** ***** ********* ******** *** ******** ***** ******* ******* *****, ***** *** ******* ****** ******* but ** **** ** **** *** million ******* ***** ** ******** ** just * *** ******.

**** ******** ** *** ***** ****** ********* included ******** ********** **********, ***** * user ***** ** ******** ** ***** away *** ***** **** ** ****** an *******. **** ******, ********* ****** could ** ****** **** ***** *****.  Visitors *** *** **** ****, **** mobile *********** ** ***** ******* ** the ***.

********, ********* ******* **** ** ***** ** installed ** ******, ** ****** **** any **** ****, *** ***** ***** be ** *** ******* ** *******. The $*** *****, ***** ****, ***** hit *** ***** **** **** *** DIYers *** *** ******* **** **** than *** ******** ***** ** **** weeks.  ******, *** ******* *** **** accolades *** **** ** ** ******* of *** ******* ****** ***** *** Crowdfunding ******* ***** ************* *********** ******* like **** ********.

The *******

*******, ********* ***** *** ***** ******* ******** **** caused ***** ******* ** *** *** offering.  **** ***** ******* ****** *** rework *******, *** ******* ***** ******** the ********* ********:

  • ************: **** ****** ********* ******* ********* compatibility *** **** ******* ** *******, the ******* ******* **** **** ***** needed ** **** ** **** ** install *** **** *** ****** *** door ****.  **** ***** ****** ***** their **** *** **** ***** **** not *** *** ****** ** ***.
  • ******* ****: ******* ** *** ******* *-***** lifecycle **** *** ******** ***** ****, many ***** ***** ********* ****** * or * *****.  **** **** **** within ****** **********, *** **** ******* juice *******.  
  • **************: ******** *** *************** *********** **** connectivity *** *** ******* '*****' ******* were ********* ******* ******, **** **** users ******* *** **** ******* **** needed *** ****** **** **** * minute ** **** ** ****** ********* a ****.
  • *************:******* *** ******* ******** **** ** sourcing ********** *** ********** *** *** device. ***** *********** *** ****** *** based ** *** **, *** ******* found ************ ******** ****** ** **** reliable ********* ********.

The *****

***, ********* ** "****** *** *** ******* ** ************* Lockitron ****", * *** ******** ******* replacing *** ******* ********.  *** *** unit ** ** ****** *********** **** rather **** * ******** ******. *** new ****** ****** *** **** ** the ******* ********, *** ******* ** a ******* ****:

**** * ******* ***** ** $**, the *** **** ******** *** **** basic ******** ** *** ******** **** the ********* *******:

  • '*****' ** ****: *** ****** ********* **** * user **** ** *** **** ** awaken *** **** ** ****. *** company ********* "** ***** **** ******* doors ***** ******* *** ***** ****** too ******, ******* *** ********* ***** and ******** *********" *** *******. ****** than ****** ** **-******** *** ******, Bolt ****** ***** **.
  • ******** ****: ******* ******* **** *** *** performance ***** *** *** ******* **** chip.  **** ****, ********* ******* ************ to *** * ******** **** ******* hub ****** * ****** **** ** connected ** *** **** ******. *** ******* ****** **** ****** offers "********* ********** ****".
  • *** ***** *****: *** *********** **** ******** ***** the ******** **** ******** **** **** to ** ******** ** ***** ******** door ***** *** ****.  *** ******* claims ** **** ********** ***** * service **** **** ****, *** ** the ******** "**** ***** ******** ***** can ***** **** ******** *** *** $5-15..."

*** ******* *** *** **** *** the ******* ****** *** *** ******* Lockitron, *** ******* ** ****** ***** backers ** ******* ***** ****** ** Bolt **** ** ******* ** ***** shipping ** * *** ******.

The ****** ** ***** *****

*** ******* ** ********* ** ******* a ********** ******* ****** ** * sobering ******* ** *** ********* ********* of ******, *************, *** ******** ***** to ****** ** ****** ******* (*** beyond)!  ***** *** *** ******* *******:

***** *** *******: ******* ***** ****** ** **** *** common, *** ****** ********** ******* ** a **** *** **** *** *******.  Not **** ** ***** * **** variety ** ******** ** ***, *** the **** ** ********* *** ********* of **** ******** *** ******* ********** a ****** ****. *************** ******* *******, bending, *** **** ********* ** ***** contributed ******* ** *** **** ** Lockitron.

**** ***** *** *** ******:  **** **** * '**** ********' concept **** *** ****** *** ** met **** ******** ** ******* ** support, * **** ** **** **** and ********* ************ ***** ****** ****** commercial *********. ********* *** ******* **** the **** ***, *** *** ******** most ** *** **** **** *** enthusiasm *** ******* *** ***** **.  Only **** **** **** ** **** helps *** ******* *******.

**** ***** ***** ***** **** ****** to *** **** ********?  ***** ** good ******.  **** ** *** ********* offerings **** ******,****, *** **** **** *********** ******* delays, ******** **** ****** ** ******* and ******** ** *********.  *******, ***** of ***** ***** ****** ****** ***** excitement **** * ***** ****** ** skepticism ***** *** ******* *******.

 

Comments (10)

Lockitron just released the promo video for Bolt:

By the way, the comments on the video's YouTube page are brutal, and provide some color on the degree of dissatisfaction Lockitron is dealing with:

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

Luckily I got my full refund after about a year of waiting past the estimated ship date. I'm surprised so many people are still holding on. I'm no expert on crowdsourcing new technology, but they really misled people on the sale. Their promo video showed a flawless piece of techonology (was that an oxymoron?) and innovative ideas, only the reality was that half those ideas were just that, ideas. They were still in Beta phase on a lot of those features 6 months after they started shipping units.

Also, units took so long to ship (if they did at all), because they were already doing tons of RMA's for the ones they already shipped, causing those still waiting to wait even longer!

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

I'm curious if anyone has experience with the August locks. I can find some reviews of them, but tech press reviews everything positively. They seem to have a lot of the key features of Lockitron, plus less overpromising, plus now compatible with home automation systems via a small plug in hub. It seems the best combination, and it comes in colors!

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

The major heartburn I've heard about August have not been functional issues, but:

1. $250 pricetag is too high for many. People seem to pass because they can't afford or justify buying it.

2. The company chose to ship stock to Apple before they shipped any to pre-ordered backers. You want to make an Andriod fanboi furious? Ship his product to an Apple Store first. Instant fireworks.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

We've been using the Schlage zWave networked doorlocks for SMB access since 2011. Replacement of standard door handles was fairly straightforward. The door handle product enabled local keypad access as well as remote internet and smart phone access and status.

In 2011, the networked door handle cost us $160 and the deadbolt cost us $200. Unfortunately the deadbolt was a loss because we hadn't understood its key limitation: unlike the door handle, the deadbolt could only be remotely unlocked if someone was there to turn the handle. Close coordination was a nuisance often enought that we got rid of it.

In light of our experience, I'm trying to understand what unserved market segment the Kickstart campaign was addressing. The Kickstart response suggests that they offered desirable features that competitors didn't have, or else that their Kickstart sponsors may have been unaware of other commercial alternatives.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

I agree.

For about $160, my Yale Real Living Touchscreen has worked flawlessly for over a year now. I unlock my door, with my iPhone, every night when I pull into the driveway. The great thing about it is that my wife likes it. Getting a non-techy spouse to like tech means it is a success.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

"In light of our experience, I'm trying to understand what unserved market segment the Kickstart campaign was addressing."

YCominator, the incumbator Lockitron come out of, has a very powerful brand in the tech sector. It's basically the Apple or Google of the startup space.

With such a strong brand, so many people and so many publications are quick to annoint whatever they do as the next big thing, whether or not they deliver.

For example, Solyvent, aka Ensure for SF geeks.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Check out Goji, I love the look and proposed features of their product, but they have also admitted defeat on straight WiFi, because it uses too much power. We tried to contact them to see if they had an API so we could integrate their device into our management software, but after several attempts we gave up because they had no clue what I was trying to ask for, but I was pretty clear that we wanted to help them sell more product. I suspect that will be typical of these hot disruptive startups...

Overall there are some great wireless locks out there by Assa, Allegion, Stanley, etc. but all have some drawback you need to be comfortable with for a commercial implementation such as price, real-time lockdown, batter life, etc. But I think we're one generation away from some outstanding products, I don't know if it will be a tried & true or startup to get there first, we'll see.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

In another move that demonstrates innovation copies the way others solve the same problem, Lockitron has scrapped the knocksensor idea and replaced it with a keypad as an new option for 'Bolt' units:

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

While I find it pretty laughable how many iterations this product has gone through in only about 2 years, that's a pretty attractive keypad/deadbolt...so I wouldn't necessarily say no to it.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny
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