Solar-Powered Proximity Locking?

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A solar-powered, Bluetooth-enabled U-lock, that talks to your phone and unlocks itself when you get close? It’s like the future, now! Although sadly it doesn’t come with a hoverbike…


Skylock is a keyless U-lock. You can either set it to proximity-sense your own phone (Android and iOS are both catered for), so it will automatically unlock your bike when you get close, or you can unlock it via the phone app. Alternatively you can do things the old-fashioned way, inputting a key code on the lock’s own capacitive touch screen if you manage to lose/damage/vaporise your phone, or have a flat battery.

If the lock’s accelerometer detects unexpected movement while it’s keeping your bike safe, then Skylock sends a message to your phone warning that it’s being tampered with. It will also send a ‘Crash Alert’ to your nominated contact if it detects a potential ground-surf situation while being carried – this requires both the phone and the lock (which you’re carrying) to suffer the same change in motion, thus ruling out accidental alerts if (like us) you’re clumsy and frequently drop stuff. We’d hope, anyway.

The solar panel charges an internal battery, which itself can be recharged via USB port, so you shouldn’t ever run out of juice, and you’ll still be able to unlock your bike at night/in a multi-storey car park. Twelve hours of sunlight is claimed to power the lock for six months.

And, of course, Skylock are also sure that this lock is “Very” secure. It’s built around a steel shackle with dual locking pins, so any potential thief armed with angle grinder or similar would have to cut it twice to free it; it’s had its internal free space minimised to make it as difficult as possible for potential thieves to use a bottle jack, and been tested to withstand freeze attacks.

As for theft-by-hacking – which would be an appropriately hi-tech disaster to befall your future hoverbike:

“It is possible but extremely unlikely. Skylock uses 256 bit eliptic curve cryptography combined with RSA public key infrastructure to secure your lock. It would be easier to cut the lock. We don’t publicly discuss the way we handle passwords for obvious reasons, but we use all the latest technologies to ensure Skylock is as secure as it can be.”

We’re reassured. We think.

Skylock is currently seeking advance orders to fund the manufacture of the first batch of locks. The pre-order price is $159, with the eventual RRP is $249 – and they ship internationally too. We’re tempted…


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