Apr 13, 2015
We all love the connected home? What about a connected lock to start it all off?
How about the Quicklock Padlock?
The review package contained USB-cable, documentation, and NFC card and the lock itself; there’s no missing the lock, in that it looks like, well, a lock. The review unit is mostly blue and grey, with the metal shackle being the latter. The body is in the shape of a small cylinder, with a recessed charging port on the backside, and a bluetooth button/LED on the front.
The manufacturer also provided us companion Android software — in beta — that serves as the control bridge for the hardware. The app is simple, presented a business-like grey, and when it is initiated, it turns on the host device’s Bluetooth radio and searches for a lock. On the hardware side, one has to press the aforementioned button on the front of the device to initiate pairing. When the lock is found, the app requests a password (in our case, provided by the manufacturer). As soon as the connection and password is verified, a simple control screen appears, allowing the user to unlock, or set the unit to auto unlock. The app allows one to manage multiple locks, as well as edit the name and auto lock time.
The unit also allows for NFC control; I was able to pair to the provided NFC card. It works as advertised, if a bit laggier than the app. The manufacturer offers a bunch of NFC accessories (like a ring) on its website.
It’s all pretty seamless, and fairly intuitive.
But then, the wireless connectivity that makes the solution attractive brings to mind some interesting questions. The first one has to do with complete power drain; if the unit drains out, it can be operated, but must be charged with, say, a portable charger (and the cable has to be just right too to fit); as such, I felt more comfortable topping it off frequently, which isn’t optimal. Another quirk is that button at the front. Prior to operating, it has to be pressed each time, meaning one would have to physically make contact with the lock every single time. Not life-ending by any means, but this did curb my dreams of sending my kids to the shed out back white I sip on a Pepsi watching Dancing with the Stars. The NFC functionality helps in this regard, as one can match a few to it, but that does put a damper on true access control.
I wasn’t able to view access control, but for an item still being designed, it’a pretty interesting piece. With some polishing, the whole thing can be a killer combo. It it something I’d use?