Tags Lock

Watch a Gun Safe Get Cracked Open with Just a Paper Clip

Watch a Gun Safe Get Cracked Open with Just a Paper Clip

Hmm. That’s not supposed to happen like that. And yet this gun safe—a GunVault GVB1000 approved by the California Department of Justice that uses a biometric fingerprint sensor to unlock itself—can be easily opened with just a paperclip. It’s a method that simply involves tricking the bypass lock to open the latch.

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March 4th

Uncategorized

After Two Years In Stealth, Smart Lock Maker Latch Talks Funding, Features

Latch Lock Image On the surface, the smart lock space can seem pretty crowded already, with names like Lockitron and August and Kisi apparently in play for several years. But New York based Latch contends it’s mostly still noise. Aka a lot of crowdfunding campaigns, and a lot less actual product delivery. Read More

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Natasha Lomas

February 10th

Gadgets

Review: Dog & Bone’s Locksmart Padlock uses Touch ID, Bluetooth + multi-user accounts for keyless security

locksmart-1

Thanks to Nest and other “smart home” accessory developers, wirelessly controlled appliances and security accessories are rapidly becoming mainstream. Garage and home doors have gone wireless, adding Bluetooth locks and remote controls, so it’s no surprise that the same features are beginning to appear in portable locks, as well. Since the ability to unlock doors without carrying old-fashioned keys is undeniably convenient, the only question is whether wireless locks are worthy of the premium prices they carry.

Best known for Apple device cases, Australian developer Dog & Bone has released Locksmart ($90), billed as a “keyless Bluetooth padlock.” Made from a zinc alloy with a 1.5″ stainless steel shackle, Locksmart is imposingly substantial, holding a Bluetooth 4 LE chip and two-year rechargeable battery inside a weatherproof frame. While it sells for a higher price than a basic weatherproof padlock with a key, or the sort of basic Bluetooth padlock one might use on a school locker, Locksmart is bolstered by a legitimately worthwhile app that enables it to work like $110 fingerprint-scanning padlocks — and arguably much better, since Dog & Bone’s app has several cool features that aren’t found in other padlocks…

Key Details:

  • A Bluetooth controlled padlock using your iOS device as the key
  • Supports multiple user accounts for shared access if wanted
  • Touch ID or passcode can be used
  • Middle-of-pack shackle strength
  • Cheaper than biometric padlocks, more expensive than basic locks

From a hardware perspective, Locksmart initially appears to be extremely simple — so simple that you won’t even find an instruction manual in the box. Dog & Bone ships the lock closed, with nothing more than a micro-USB to USB cable and a sheet of paper directing you to download an iOS or Android Locksmart app. There’s no physical key in the box, and no obvious way to open the lock. The back of the box lists Locksmart’s features, but doesn’t provide guidance on popping it open. So if you want to start using the lock, you’ll need the app, which effectively turns your iOS or Android device into the key.

locksmart-2

Locksmart’s size and shape make it look highly secure, and it has some distinctive design touches. Four inches tall, 2.5″ wide, and just over 1″ thick, it has red rings on its front and back to serve as bumpers, with a set of six front notches that hint at hidden controls. But there aren’t any controls, at least, not on the front; the bottom front notch turns out to be a narrow status light that flashes red when Locksmart is recharging, stays solid green when fully charged, and flashes green when it’s ready to pair with a wireless device. Local, proximate pairing is required: you cannot open the lock if you’re outside of its Bluetooth wireless range, which is at least 30 feet, perhaps double that.

locksmart-3

Dog & Bone says you can expect up to 3,000 “opens” of the lock on a single charge, with the need to recharge only once every two years, though I suspect that real-world battery life will vary based on whether Locksmart is used in extreme weather conditions. My review unit arrived with 28% remaining battery life — enough for at least six months of use — and said that it was fully recharged within less than an hour, though I found Locksmart’s software-based remaining power indicator to be somewhat flaky. To conserve the battery, Locksmart remains off unless you press a tiny power button that’s hidden under a rubber-sealed compartment with the micro-USB recharging port. You needn’t open the compartment to press the button, a welcome accommodation if Locksmart’s being used in bad weather.

locksmart-5

Most of Locksmart’s magic is found in Dog & Bone’s app, which is impressively designed and surprisingly functional. After you register for an account — layer one of security — you then pair the specific padlock to your iPhone for access, giving you the first opportunity to actually open it and attach it to something. In light of user complaints I’ve read regarding more basic Bluetooth padlocks, I’ll note that Locksmart’s Bluetooth pairing and locking were 100% flawless during my testing, with no reliability issues whatsoever when locking or unlocking. I was able to unlock Locksmart from two rooms away in a house, and a similar distance outdoors, without any complaint from the app.

IMG_7656 IMG_7657 IMG_7658 IMG_7659

One killer feature of the app is the option to choose the type of security you want for Locksmart. You can choose from three different unlocking mechanisms: “tap to unlock,” “Passcode,” or “Touch ID.” Tapping is a simple one-tap mechanism that pops the motorized lock open in a flash, and Passcode lets you use a four-digit code to secure the lock, akin to a simple combination lock. By comparison, Touch ID relies upon your iPhone’s or iPad’s fingerprint sensor to open the lock, making Locksmart similarly capable to $100+ biometric padlocks, albeit with the far more reliable and fast fingerprint scanning of Apple’s Touch ID sensors. Once Passcode or Touch ID is enabled, most of your interactions with the Locksmart app require re-authentication with your code or fingerprint for security, preventing an unauthorized user from downgrading the chosen level of security.

IMG_7660 IMG_7663 IMG_7664x

The app enables another frill: optional multi-user access. A Share feature lets you authorize up to 50 users to a single lock, deauthorizing each as you prefer. To add someone, all you need to do is press a plus button, enter the person’s name and mobile phone number, then authorize Locksmart to SMS an app download link with a Shared account authorization code. After downloading the app and setting up the account, your recipient gets immediate lock access — a process that took only 2 minutes in my testing. Each time a shared user accesses the lock, the main user receives a timestamped notification of the shared user’s access, a really nice feature. My only complaint about Shared access is a modest one: you cannot require a shared user to follow a heightened level of security, such as Touch ID or passcode access. All they have to do is “tap to unlock.” There are practical reasons why this makes some sense for fingerprints, but having second-level passcode security wouldn’t be a bad thing.

IMG_7661 IMG_7662 IMG_7665

Apart from that limitation, Locksmart’s physical security is respectable by padlock standards — a step up over basic Bluetooth padlocks, but not Fort Knox level. The shackle is 8mm (0.31″)-thick stainless steel, which is mid-range in both thickness and material for cut resistance, enabling it to withstand common clipping tools but not heavy-duty bolt cutters. Similarly, the body is made from a die-cast Zamak-3 zinc alloy, a strong and heavy-feeling but not-quite-steel material, promising weatherproof operation in -20C to 70C temperatures, rain, hail, snow, or shine. These characteristics are comparable to what you’d find in a good $20 weatherproof lock, minus of course the app-assisted security and multi-user access features.

locksmart-6

On the software side, Locksmart uses 128-bit Bluetooth encryption and a 256-bit cloud-generated private key, which means the padlock is far less likely to be successfully hacked than to be accessed by an authorized (but security-compromised) device — in other words, your iOS or Android device is the primary key once you’ve paired Locksmart, and you should keep your device safe, as well as restricting shared access. If you lose your device, Dog & Bone suggests that you immediately log into the Locksmart app with from another device, which will automatically lock out your lost device. Then you should change your account’s password and delete the lock, setting it up again with your new device.

locksmart-4

From my perspective, it’s easy to see padlocks as commodities — ‘seen one, seen them all’ — but when you really consider the nuances that make some locks better than others, Locksmart’s appeal becomes more obvious. While Dog & Bone has selected middle-of-the-road physical materials for Locksmart, there’s undeniably some sophisticated functionality enabled by its app, particularly leveraging Touch ID, but also Shared access, which enable this particular padlock to be narrowly keyed to a single person or broadly opened by a collection of trusted users. Viewed as a more expensive alternative to a conventional padlock, Locksmart might be hard to justify, but as a less expensive (and more capable) alternative to a biometric padlock, it’s actually compelling. I’m looking forward to seeing Dog & Bone expand the Locksmart line, as a smaller and thinner-shackled version called Locksmart Mini is expected to be available in the not-too-distant future.

Manufacturer:
Dog & Bone
Price:
$90
Compatibility:
iPhones, iPads, iPod touches (Bluetooth 4.0+)

Filed under: Reviews Tagged: Bluetooth, connected lock, Dog & Bone, iOS, lock, Locksmart, Locksmart Padlock, Padlock, Security, Smart lock, Touch ID

Check out 9to5Mac for more breaking coverage of iOS, Reviews, and Bluetooth.

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Photo

Jeremy Horwitz

December 21st

Apple

Mac

Review: Dog & Bone’s Locksmart Padlock uses Touch ID, Bluetooth + multi-user accounts for keyless security

locksmart-1

Thanks to Nest and other “smart home” accessory developers, wirelessly controlled appliances and security accessories are rapidly becoming mainstream. Garage and home doors have gone wireless, adding Bluetooth locks and remote controls, so it’s no surprise that the same features are beginning to appear in portable locks, as well. Since the ability to unlock doors without carrying old-fashioned keys is undeniably convenient, the only question is whether wireless locks are worthy of the premium prices they carry.

Best known for Apple device cases, Australian developer Dog & Bone has released Locksmart ($90), billed as a “keyless Bluetooth padlock.” Made from a zinc alloy with a 1.5″ stainless steel shackle, Locksmart is imposingly substantial, holding a Bluetooth 4 LE chip and two-year rechargeable battery inside a weatherproof frame. While it sells for a higher price than a basic weatherproof padlock with a key, or the sort of basic Bluetooth padlock one might use on a school locker, Locksmart is bolstered by a legitimately worthwhile app that enables it to work like $110 fingerprint-scanning padlocks — and arguably much better, since Dog & Bone’s app has several cool features that aren’t found in other padlocks…

Key Details:

  • A Bluetooth controlled padlock using your iOS device as the key
  • Supports multiple user accounts for shared access if wanted
  • Touch ID or passcode can be used
  • Middle-of-pack shackle strength
  • Cheaper than biometric padlocks, more expensive than basic locks

From a hardware perspective, Locksmart initially appears to be extremely simple — so simple that you won’t even find an instruction manual in the box. Dog & Bone ships the lock closed, with nothing more than a micro-USB to USB cable and a sheet of paper directing you to download an iOS or Android Locksmart app. There’s no physical key in the box, and no obvious way to open the lock. The back of the box lists Locksmart’s features, but doesn’t provide guidance on popping it open. So if you want to start using the lock, you’ll need the app, which effectively turns your iOS or Android device into the key.

locksmart-2

Locksmart’s size and shape make it look highly secure, and it has some distinctive design touches. Four inches tall, 2.5″ wide, and just over 1″ thick, it has red rings on its front and back to serve as bumpers, with a set of six front notches that hint at hidden controls. But there aren’t any controls, at least, not on the front; the bottom front notch turns out to be a narrow status light that flashes red when Locksmart is recharging, stays solid green when fully charged, and flashes green when it’s ready to pair with a wireless device. Local, proximate pairing is required: you cannot open the lock if you’re outside of its Bluetooth wireless range, which is at least 30 feet, perhaps double that.

locksmart-3

Dog & Bone says you can expect up to 3,000 “opens” of the lock on a single charge, with the need to recharge only once every two years, though I suspect that real-world battery life will vary based on whether Locksmart is used in extreme weather conditions. My review unit arrived with 28% remaining battery life — enough for at least six months of use — and said that it was fully recharged within less than an hour, though I found Locksmart’s software-based remaining power indicator to be somewhat flaky. To conserve the battery, Locksmart remains off unless you press a tiny power button that’s hidden under a rubber-sealed compartment with the micro-USB recharging port. You needn’t open the compartment to press the button, a welcome accommodation if Locksmart’s being used in bad weather.

locksmart-5

Most of Locksmart’s magic is found in Dog & Bone’s app, which is impressively designed and surprisingly functional. After you register for an account — layer one of security — you then pair the specific padlock to your iPhone for access, giving you the first opportunity to actually open it and attach it to something. In light of user complaints I’ve read regarding more basic Bluetooth padlocks, I’ll note that Locksmart’s Bluetooth pairing and locking were 100% flawless during my testing, with no reliability issues whatsoever when locking or unlocking. I was able to unlock Locksmart from two rooms away in a house, and a similar distance outdoors, without any complaint from the app.

IMG_7656 IMG_7657 IMG_7658 IMG_7659

One killer feature of the app is the option to choose the type of security you want for Locksmart. You can choose from three different unlocking mechanisms: “tap to unlock,” “Passcode,” or “Touch ID.” Tapping is a simple one-tap mechanism that pops the motorized lock open in a flash, and Passcode lets you use a four-digit code to secure the lock, akin to a simple combination lock. By comparison, Touch ID relies upon your iPhone’s or iPad’s fingerprint sensor to open the lock, making Locksmart similarly capable to $100+ biometric padlocks, albeit with the far more reliable and fast fingerprint scanning of Apple’s Touch ID sensors. Once Passcode or Touch ID is enabled, most of your interactions with the Locksmart app require re-authentication with your code or fingerprint for security, preventing an unauthorized user from downgrading the chosen level of security.

IMG_7660 IMG_7663 IMG_7664x

The app enables another frill: optional multi-user access. A Share feature lets you authorize up to 50 users to a single lock, deauthorizing each as you prefer. To add someone, all you need to do is press a plus button, enter the person’s name and mobile phone number, then authorize Locksmart to SMS an app download link with a Shared account authorization code. After downloading the app and setting up the account, your recipient gets immediate lock access — a process that took only 2 minutes in my testing. Each time a shared user accesses the lock, the main user receives a timestamped notification of the shared user’s access, a really nice feature. My only complaint about Shared access is a modest one: you cannot require a shared user to follow a heightened level of security, such as Touch ID or passcode access. All they have to do is “tap to unlock.” There are practical reasons why this makes some sense for fingerprints, but having second-level passcode security wouldn’t be a bad thing.

IMG_7661 IMG_7662 IMG_7665

Apart from that limitation, Locksmart’s physical security is respectable by padlock standards — a step up over basic Bluetooth padlocks, but not Fort Knox level. The shackle is 8mm (0.31″)-thick stainless steel, which is mid-range in both thickness and material for cut resistance, enabling it to withstand common clipping tools but not heavy-duty bolt cutters. Similarly, the body is made from a die-cast Zamak-3 zinc alloy, a strong and heavy-feeling but not-quite-steel material, promising weatherproof operation in -20C to 70C temperatures, rain, hail, snow, or shine. These characteristics are comparable to what you’d find in a good $20 weatherproof lock, minus of course the app-assisted security and multi-user access features.

locksmart-6

On the software side, Locksmart uses 128-bit Bluetooth encryption and a 256-bit cloud-generated private key, which means the padlock is far less likely to be successfully hacked than to be accessed by an authorized (but security-compromised) device — in other words, your iOS or Android device is the primary key once you’ve paired Locksmart, and you should keep your device safe, as well as restricting shared access. If you lose your device, Dog & Bone suggests that you immediately log into the Locksmart app with from another device, which will automatically lock out your lost device. Then you should change your account’s password and delete the lock, setting it up again with your new device.

locksmart-4

From my perspective, it’s easy to see padlocks as commodities — ‘seen one, seen them all’ — but when you really consider the nuances that make some locks better than others, Locksmart’s appeal becomes more obvious. While Dog & Bone has selected middle-of-the-road physical materials for Locksmart, there’s undeniably some sophisticated functionality enabled by its app, particularly leveraging Touch ID, but also Shared access, which enable this particular padlock to be narrowly keyed to a single person or broadly opened by a collection of trusted users. Viewed as a more expensive alternative to a conventional padlock, Locksmart might be hard to justify, but as a less expensive (and more capable) alternative to a biometric padlock, it’s actually compelling. I’m looking forward to seeing Dog & Bone expand the Locksmart line, as a smaller and thinner-shackled version called Locksmart Mini is expected to be available in the not-too-distant future.

Manufacturer:
Dog & Bone
Price:
$90
Compatibility:
iPhones, iPads, iPod touches (Bluetooth 4.0+)

Filed under: Reviews Tagged: Bluetooth, connected lock, Dog & Bone, iOS, lock, Locksmart, Locksmart Padlock, Padlock, Security, Smart lock, Touch ID

Check out 9to5Mac for more breaking coverage of iOS, Reviews, and Bluetooth.

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Photo

Jeremy Horwitz

December 21st

Apple

Mac

August Debuts Three Products And Its Partner Platform ‘August Access’

August Smart Lock - HomeKit enabled Hero Unlocking your door might not sound exciting, but once you’ve seen an August Smart Lock in action, you’ll change your mind. The company behind it, August, is doubling down on the connected home with a handful of new products and a partnership program that’s opens the door to new uses of their devices. The promise of a completely connected home hasn’t really been cashed… Read More

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Photo

Drew Olanoff

October 14th

Gadgets

Mobile

Kickstarter campaign begins for iPhone-controlled Bluetooth padlock

Locks always struck me as the perfect application for Bluetooth LE: walk up to the lock, it detects the phone in your pocket or bag, checks the code and unlocks. If you need to let someone else in, you authorize their app on a one-off or permanent basis. Simple, secure, convenient.

There are a bunch of Bluetooth door locks on the way, and you can even lock and unlock your Mac via Bluetooth, so why not a Bluetooth padlock too? Noke is a Kickstarter campaign for a $59 lock where you simply click the hasp to unlock. Provided your phone is with you, and the app code matches the lock, it opens without key or combination.

Cleverly, you can also program the padlock with a Morse code-style pattern that you can click to open the lock if your phone battery is dead.

02d6e4c0dbae7358e82d1a9235f62347_large

The campaign has an ambitious $100,000 target, so it’s by no means certain it’ll get funded, but as with all Kickstarter campaigns you lose nothing if it doesn’t make it. $59 is the Kickstarter price, with a planned retail price of $99.

The campaign doesn’t say anything about the security credentials of the lock, so it’s probably best considered something for relatively low-security applications like gym lockers and ‘cafe locks’ for bikes (ones you use just to stop someone hopping on and riding off while your bike is within sight).


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Android, Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE, Bluetooth lock, iOS, Kickstarter, lock, Padlock, Smartphone, TEO

For more news on iOS Devices, iOS, and Android continue reading at 9to5Mac.

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Ben Lovejoy

August 18th

Apple

Mac

iPhone-controlled door lock market heating up as Openways announces Okidokeys

okidokeys

A company that makes smartphone-controlled door locks for hotels has announced its first home door lock system, going by the rather cringeworthy name Okidokeys.

Once fitted, you’ll be able to unlock your front door from your iPhone (or Android handset) via Bluetooth. The locks are also compatible with RFID chips, allowing you to open them with a keycard or wristband in case your phone battery goes flat. As you’d expect from a hi-tech lock, you can also manage access and accounts online … 

For example, you can create an account for a cleaner which restricts access to certain days or hours, and you can also open the lock remotely if someone is locked out.

The range of locks starts at $179, with pre-orders available later this month for delivery in the spring. It will be competing with a growing range of smartphone-controlled locks this year, including the August, available for pre-order now at $199, also for shipping in the Spring.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Android, Apple, August, Bluetooth, Door, Home automation, iPhone, iPhone security, lock, Smart lock, Smart locks, Smartlock, Smartlocks, Smartphone

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Photo

Ben Lovejoy

January 6th

Apple

Mac

Do You Lock Your Phone?

Do You Lock Your Phone?

Confession time: I don't lock my phone. No password or key, no swipe pattern, no fingerprint scan. Nothing. It's really stupid and I will probably regret it someday.

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Photo

Lily Hay Newman

November 10th

Uncategorized

iPhone 5S will come in gold & likely sport fingerprint sensor, iPad iOS 7 running behind

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Photo

Mark Gurman

August 19th

Apple

Mac

ASUS now catching heat for locked Transformer Prime bootloader, probably wishes the thing was never made

Man, talk about not being able to catch a break. After launching what was largely considered the first Android tablet worth drooling over at AsiaD, ASUS has ran into every conceivable issue in the months since. Delays, on-again / off-again claims about GPS and now, a locked bootloader that has the vocal Android modding community all sorts of angry. The primary issue here is that the Prime is a WiFi-only device, which leaves little room for ASUS to justify its decision to thwart the use of uncertified ROMs. Of course, HTC has faced similar pressures in the past, and its decision to cut loose of the locked bootloader chains won it universal praise from a universal audience. Time for ASUS to step up and do likewise?

ASUS now catching heat for locked Transformer Prime bootloader, probably wishes the thing was never made originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 02 Jan 2012 11:50:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

January 2nd

Uncategorized
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