Startup: Smart Security Padlock

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Aug 22, 2014

Want to eliminate using keys or combinations? Replace them with your smartphone to control access.

That's what startup Noke (pronounced 'no-key') is pitching. Check out their video:

The product has raised over 2.5 times its goal in just a few days, in an attempt to be what crowdsourcing champ Lockitron is to padlocks. Does Noke have what it takes to be a hit for consumers? Furthermore, what guarantees are there that this effort does not fall victim to the problems besieging Lockitron and countless other crowd funded security offerings?

We take a closer look in this note.

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Vote - *** *** **********?

Comments (12)

I would like to know if this lock is rated for regulated use. Example storage of explosives or radioactive sources?

What specific rating are you talking about for 'regulated use?'

In any case, it looks doubtful this lock carries any special rating.

In general kickstarter campaigns and gadgets marketed for high school lockers should not be mixed with security for explosives or radioactive sources :)

I would have loved to have seen the product makers go to "Shark Tank" with this. "$60 to replace a $4 lock?!" "Lost combination? If I have a smart phone, why wouldn't I just keep the combination as a note in my phone?"

Mr Wonderful would have had a field day.

Luis, that's a good counter.

I do wonder how big the real market for products like this are and how much its skewed to rich early adopter tech types.

That said, even if this is not a mass market success, I believe this is, at least, a viable niche product (presuming they can execute, etc.).

I dunno man. I saw them fund a $4 collapsible plastic box competing with cardboard boxes the other day. Mr. Wonderful was intrigued until they wouldn't give him 51% of the company...

It really is for the tech nerd crowd who just has to have something different and unique, I think. But you know, let's just consider the US alone, with 350 million people, if only 0.5% of people buy them, at $60 apiece on the "low end", that's $105 million. If they can squeeze a 10% margin out of that, that's still $10.5 million dollars, and nothing to sneeze at.

A large population of people with a small percentage who are easily taken are how bad movies still make money, where lotteries get their money and startups that even if the founders know will never really be "successful", know they can probably carry can idea long enough to get a decent paycheck for at least a little while until the novelty wears out.

(And yes, I do play the lottery on occasion.)

This is the first Kickstarter campaign that has ever piqued my interest to the point where I would consider pledging. I would buy this. Unlike a lot of other bluetooth-y, use-your-smartphone-for.... whatever, this seems ridiculously simple and workable.

Would I pay $60 for a lock for which I don't have to text my wife the combination when she takes the kids to the lake club? Yes. A lock for which I don't have to tie the key through the laces of my sneakers when I work out at the gym? Yes. That I can use on a couple of different items? Yes.

You gotta look at products through the eyes of a dad with a wife and young kids. You only have about an hour each day that is truly your own. Time is money, and I can see this product saving some.

One operational benefit that even the developer does not greatly detail are 'audit trails', or a log of who opened the lock and when.

This is a clear advantage over a mechanical padlock, and a fundamental feature of electronic access control.

In some cases, like with rental bikes or communal swimming pools, having a lock that books who used things last may very well be worth spending $60-$90.

Just want to give my 2 cents. I've been backing Füz Designs first project on Kickstarter (in fact, I've backed 42 projects in total ;) ) and people there are really serious. They have a great communication with their backers and I had trouble with a USB cable from their EverDock Duo (first project) and they sent me for free 3x cables to replace it...I'm in Europe, it's a US based company...it costs money.

About the NOKE, I really think it's a great idea and for bike especially. The concept and design are perfect and it's pure technology for a padlock! OK...I have to admit that I'm a technology lover (people call me Geek...I call it Passion!) so perhaps I'm not unbiased ;) Anyway...I'm a backer too! ;)

This being said, I'm not sure that this padlock has to be a blog entry in IPVM...it's security ? Yes...but for consumers...so it's not a "real" professional product like it could be used to protect a government building or any facilities that, as security professionals, we are doing all day.

My 2 cents...

Philippe,

That's great feedback about the company / manufacturer. Thanks.

Btw, we do not normally cover consumer products but we do on occasion, especially if it's different and the amount being raised / sold are abnormally high.

Rest assured, padlocks are not becoming a core focus of IPVM :) but we will cover such items from time to time.

I totally agree this smart padlock is not suited for commercial security. It does not even exist yet, so we don't know how hardened it is against abuse, if it's made of pig iron, or if a teenager can hack these open after a youtube session.

However, I've been around enough executive security managers and police chiefs to know there is a high likelihood that someday, someone will 'have a brainstorm' after surfing the internet and buy a handful of these for use for some commercial purpose. (Typically because consumer products are easy to get, cheap and easy to install.)

For example several years ago, a Forbes Top 100 customer asked my integration company to find a way to use 'Magic Jacks' to connect remote computers together. A different fleet customer still requires drivers to install 'The Club' on steering wheels at the end of each shift.

So I agree with you, although It's good to have a calibrated sense of product suitability, and to be aware of 'other' security / technology products that may creep into operations and the commercial security space.

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