Lockitron Tested

By: John Honovich, Published on Aug 14, 2014

Lockitron is one of the most hyped products in years and maybe the most well known access control product ever. Ever since their crowdsourcing campaign began, this red-hot startup has won millions in backing and all the admiration Silicon Valley has to offer.  

But quite literally, the multi-million dollar question is: Does Lockitron deliver?

We bought a unit and put it through its paces.

What we found was was a mix of disappointment, confusion, and a glimpse at the trouble of bootstrapping an idea into a real access control solution.

*********** *** ** *** most ***** ******** ** years *** ***** *** most **** ***** ****** ******* product ****. **** ***** their ************* ******** *****, this ***-*** ******* *** won ******** ** ******* and *** *** ********** Silicon ****** *** ** offer.  

*** ***** *********, *** multi-million ****** ******** **: Does ********* *******?

** ****** * **** *** put ** ******* *** paces.

**** ** ***** *** was * *** ** disappointment, *********, *** * glimpse ** *** ******* of ************* ** **** into * **** ****** control ********.

[***************]

Key ********

************: ********* **** *** **** ********* most ** *** ****. After *** ******* ************ and ********* **** **** ironed ***, *** **** still ****** ** ********** and ******** ****/****** *** test ****.

  • *****: *********'* *** *** **** ************ ***** ******. ******** are ****** **** *** app, *** *** **** does *** ******* ********, returns ** *****, ** just *****. 
  • ***** ** ***********: *** ********** ********, like *** ***-***** '*****' ******* **** ************* unlocks ***** **** ** authorized **** ********** ** not ********.

*********** ****** **** *** example *****, **** *** door ******* *** ********* an ***** ******* ** the ***:

***** **** ***** *********, if * **** ***** outside *** **** ** out ** ***** ** the ****, ***** ** no **** ****** ** confirm **** ***** ***** of ******** *** **** with * ********** *** or *********** **** *** error ******* **.

*** *** ******* ******* was *** **** ********* physically ******** ***** *** app ****** ** ******:

**** ***** ***** ***** a **** ******** * door ** ****** **** in ******* *** ********* ** reporting *** ***********.

Hardware **********

***** ***** *** ***** focus *** *******, *** hardware *** *** **** substantially ******** ***** *** first ***** ***** ********. Our **** ******** **** assembled *** ********* **** our **** ** ******* according ** *** ************. Small ********* ******* **** needed ** *** *** unit ******* ********, *** *********'* ******* ******** * number ** ****** *** ********* **** *** this, *** **** ** inexperienced ***** ****** ** able ** ***** *** device **** ****** ***** if *** **** *** deadbolt **** ****.

WiFI / ********* ********

*******, ****/********* *********** ** a ****. ************ ** the ****** ** **** issues **** *** ****, ranging **** ******* ******** ** ******** to *** ******* ** all.  ** ** ****** to ******** ******* *****, the **** ****** *** disconnects **** *** ******* in *** *******. ** doing **, ** * user ****** ** *** the **** *****, **** must ********** **** *** unit ** '******** ** the ****'.

*** ****** *********** **** of *** ******* ** undermined ** *** **** a **** *** ** manually **** *** **** and **** *** ** to ********* ****** ***** the ***.

*** ****** ***** **** a ********* **** ** connectivity ** *********, *** the ********* ** ***** it *** ***** ***** worked *** ** *********'* engineers, ******* ******* ***** asking '**** ********* **** ****?'.  ******, ** *** no ******* ******* *** device ***** ********* ****** our ****, *** ********** saw **** *****:

Software **********

** ****** ********* ***** the *** ***, *** found ** ******** *** prone ** ********. ***** these ****** *** *** entirely ** * ******** problem, ** ***** *** web ****** ***** ******** information ********* **** *** app *** ***. ****** and ******* **** ******, ie:

Lockitron **** *******

**** ******* *** ********, often ** * *******. However, *********** **** ***** contingent ** * ********/************** **** ***** **** to *******. ****** ********** quality ****, ********* **** not **** ************* *** control ******* ** ***** over *** *****, ** fixes *** **** ** arrive.

Our **** ****

** ******* *** ****, we **** **** *** test *** *** *************** *** ***** ***. ** ******* ********* ** * hollow **** *****, *********** grade ***** **** ******** with * *******-***** ********. The **** ** ******* ~15' **** **** *** connected ******** ******.

*** ********** ********** ** the **** *** **** turning *** ******* *****, with *** **** ********** flush **** *** **** of *** **** **** manually ********.

Our **************: **** ****

***** *** *****, ************ experience **** *** ****, we ********* ******** ********* until ***** ************ *** corrected. 

Lockitron's *******

***** **** **** **** and ******* ******* **** ahead, Lockitron *** **** ****** ******. With *** '******** ** ****** ********' *******, ********* ******* *** ******* and **** *********** ** being *** ** *** first ******* ** *** space.

Comments (5)

You're better off getting a Yale deadbolt with z-wave or zigbee built in and then utilizing the z-wave or zigbee with another device like Revolv. I have this set-up at home. I can unlock the door with a code or with a key. With my Revolv attached to it, I can open it with my iPhone. I can also use my iPhone and add an access code remotely that someone else can use to open my door if I'm not there. With the Revolv, my house locks automatically when my wife and I are both gone or at certain times. When 1 of us returns to the house, we can just knock on our pocket (phone in pocket) and the door opens or you can manually swipe a notification to open.

I see my Costco store has the Yale Touchscreen with Lever for only $130. When I bought mine, they were around $180.

If Apple and Google can communicate with Z-Wave or Zigbee with their upcoming home auto built into the phones...you would not need to purchase another device like the Revolv or SmartHome.

I personally agree that Z-Wave/Zigbee locks are preferable, but I don't know if the average Joe would. I've installed lots of deadbolts in my lifetime, but I just bought a Kwikset SmartCode deadbolt and had a lot of problems with the installation. Things didn't align right, the clutch on the thumbturn didn't work right, then the bolt wouldn't throw manually, etc. etc. etc. For the average user, that's going to be insurmountable.

Lockitron is addressing the need for simpler, though obviously they haven't gotten there with this product. In theory, though, their installation looks more doable by the average renter or homeowner without skill.

The other thing they're doing, which I agree is the most likely way forward, is wi-fi enabling it, instead of doing Z-Wave or Zigbee. Average folks are familiar with wi-fi. Connecting something to wi-fi isn't foreign, since even my 70 year old mother has searched for a wireless network and connected. Mention one of the Z___ wireless standards though, and they look at you funny.

The issue is technology isn't at a point where wi-fi devices can be powered for long periods of time without large batteries, and wake/sleep modes have problems, which are obvious in this test. Once that way forward is clear, wi-fi is more likely.

Lockitron indeed is fairly simple to install. Most DIYers, if they follow instructions and watch the videos, won't have problems installing according to plan, if everything matches the plan.

The problems are - and most professionals know this all too well - that the condition of the underlying door, lock, and frame are a wildcard. Even something as simple as stripping out a thumbturn screw, having oversized trim, or a worn deadbolt full of stiffness or backlash can be a showstopper for Lockitron.

If the typical DIYer has one of these issues, installation work likely stops cold because Lockitron isn't flexible enough or tweakable to overcome these common problems.

I am glad to have cancelled my order a few months ago after waiting for much too long. Another crowd funded product that doesn't meet its hype and potential. I was hoping that this one would work out because my initial reason for ordering it was its competitive feature set (draw back being relatively large size compared to Kwikset and August)

It looks like there's a padlock with similar tech coming up as well.

Here's their kickstarter page

Read this IPVM report for free.

This article is part of IPVM's 6,379 reports, 860 tests and is only available to members. To get a one-time preview of our work, enter your work email to access the full article.

Already a member? Login here | Join now

Related Reports

Openpath Access Control Tested on Nov 20, 2018
Big investment in access startups is uncommon, but Openpath has recently attracted $20 million doing just that. The company has limited security...
Arcules Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 08, 2019
Arcules has amazing advantages. Tens of millions of funding from Canon. Unlimited access to Milestone's source code (see our test results). But...
Smartphone Controlled Kevo Lock Tested on May 04, 2017
Smartlocks are a growing market, with millions sold. Kwikset's Kevo is one of the most common choices, using the Unikey smart phone access control...
How Cobalt Robotics May Disrupt Security on Sep 13, 2019
While security robots have largely become a joke over the last few years, one organization, Cobalt Robotics, has raised $50+ million from top US...
Assa August Smartlock Pro Tested on Nov 07, 2017
Failures and set backs in the smartlock business have been commonplace (e.g., Lockitron Admits Failure and issues from our 2017 Kevo test). But...
HID Mobile Tested on Jun 21, 2019
HID Global is one of the largest access brands, but their mobile access has had challenges. Indeed, the company has already restructured their...
Deep Learning Surveillance Startups Deep Problem on Jun 23, 2017
The undeniably good news for the video surveillance market is that we are seeing the rise of more startups than in many years. The cause of this...
ShotSpotter IPOs, Facing Low Revenue and Losses on Jun 09, 2017
A rare event for North American security manufacturers has happened. ShotSpotter has IPOed on the NASDAQ, raising $30.8 million. US IPOs,...
Healthy Skepticism for Deep Learning Is Prudent on Jul 26, 2017
The hype for deep learning in video surveillance is accelerating. Between the race to the bottom and dearth of a 'next big thing', certainly pent...
Hikvision Access Control Tested on Oct 19, 2017
Hikvision aggressive pricing and marketing combined with generally reliable hardware and free software has made them a major player in video...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Avigilon ACC Cloud Tested on Jul 08, 2020
Avigilon merged Blue and ACC, adding VSaaS features to its on-premise VMS, offering remote video and health monitoring that was previously limited...
The US Fight Over Facial Recognition Explained on Jul 08, 2020
The controversy around facial recognition has grown significantly in 2020, with Congress members and activists speaking out against it while video...
Sperry West / Alibaba Tablet Temperature Measurement Tested on Jul 07, 2020
In April, we ordered a ~$500 temperature tablet from Alibaba. We set it to the side while doing 18 other temperature screening tests but, after...
Facial Recognition: Weak Sales, Anti Regulation, No Favorite, Says Security Integrators on Jul 07, 2020
While facial recognition has gained greater prominence, a new IPVM study of security systems integrators shows weak sales, opposition to...
Video Surveillance 101 Book Released on Jul 07, 2020
IPVM's unique introduction to video surveillance series is now available as a 145-page eBook. Designed for managers, salespeople, and engineers new...
Startup Duranc Presents AI VSaaS on Jul 06, 2020
Duranc presented its system at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from Duranc including IPVM Q&A Background on the...
Low Voltage Nation Wants to "Help You Carve Out A Fulfilling Career" Interviewed on Jul 06, 2020
It is difficult to make your way in this industry as there is little formal schooling. However, one person, Blake Urmos, the Founder of Low Voltage...
The Next Hot Fever Detection Trend - $100 Wall-Mounted Units on Jul 06, 2020
The first wave of the booming fever detecting market was $10,000+ cameras, now interest for ~$2,000 tablets is high and the next big thing may be...
Cisco Meraki Unlocks IP Cameras With RTSP Tested on Jul 06, 2020
Meraki opened up its cameras to 3rd party NVRs/VMSes by offering RTSP streaming because of "the need to solve a business problem". We tested...